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Asparagus Pesto

Asparagus Pesto

This recipe was prepared by Chef Tammy Brawley on Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureau’s weekly television program.

Brawley, who holds a degree in culinary arts and owns The Green Kitchen in Richmond, Va., shares delicious seasonal recipes in a Real Virginia segment sponsored by Virginia Grown, a program of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Asparagus Pesto

1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2” pieces
1 clove garlic
¼ cup pine nuts
¼ cup olive oil
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
juice of half a lemon
freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and salt it. Add the asparagus, and cook until fully tender but not mushy, about 8-10 minutes. Drain well, reserving some of the cooking liquid, and let the asparagus cool slightly.

Transfer the asparagus to a food processor, and add the garlic, pine nuts, 2 tablespoons of the oil, Parmesan, a pinch of salt and a couple of tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Process the mixture, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container if necessary. Gradually add the remaining oil and a bit more of the reserved cooking liquid to moisten if necessary.

Add the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pulse one last time, and serve over pasta, fish or chicken. Alternately, cover and refrigerate for up to a day.