Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Asparagus Pesto

We've been enjoying local asparagus and here I have used it to make one of my favourites!  This pesto/pate/hummus like recipe is a favourite around our house. I love it because it is easy to make and you can do so many different things with it. The original recipe was from a dinner party I went to at Veronica Uzielli's years ago in Commanda. I modified it to be lower in fat but it still have great flavour.

15 x 30 ml (2 Tbsp) servings

1 1/2 lb (675 g)  asparagus, fresh
1/4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice, fresh (if bottle use less)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) sunflower seeds, raw
2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil, extra virgin, cold press
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) sea salt (to taste)
1 tsp (5 ml) black pepper, freshly ground
1/4 cup (60 ml) parmesan cheese, shredded

Remove woody ends from asparagus and steam for 3-4 minutes or until tender crisp. Combine asparagus with the rest of the ingredients in a food processor. Process into a semi smooth paste - how chunky you leave it is up to you. Transfer to serving dish and garnish with garden herbs and edible flowers like pansies. The pesto firms up when you refrigerate it. I tend to serve it right away while it is still warm. Leftovers keep in the fridge up to 4 days.

Note: Use asparagus pesto as a spread for your favourite bread, crackers, tortilla chips or toss with hot pasta.

Asparagus Pesto Pizza: Spread your favourite pizza crust with asparagus pesto. Slice mozzarella cheese ball into thin slices and arrange over crust. Add whole fresh leaf basil and red pepper around cheese slices. Finish with Parmesan cheese and crushed red chili pepper flakes. Bake in a very hot 500'F oven for 15 minutes or until top is golden and bubbling. For simplicity you can use tortillas or frozen dough or a ready-made crust. The tortillas will cook a lot faster.

NUTRITION FACTS (per 30 ml/2 Tbsp): 40 calories, 4.5 g fat, .5 g saturated fat, 105 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrate, 1 g fibre, 1 g sugar, 1 g protein. % Daily Values: 2% vitamin A and calcium, 6% vitamin C, 4% iron.

© Nancy Guppy, RD, MHSc

1 comment:

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