Spring Recipes– Delicious Asparagus Pesto

There are some foods that I just don’t cook often, even if it is in season.  My family doesn’t enjoy it and I don’t enjoy it enough to make it worth the fight.  Eggplant is one.  Asparagus is another.  Up until last year, I didn’t fight with them about asparagus (I still don’t fight over eggplant).  But I adapted this recipe from Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson.  Her cookbooks have SO many good ideas!  Many of them we have added to our monthly menu plan because the whole family enjoyed them.  Her recipes are so fun and easy that even when we don’t love an ingredient (or it’s hard to find) I can change it up pretty easily.  So when this came up, I just couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that we would love some version of this dish.

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I was right!  Even my veggie hating husband LOVES this pesto.   On to the monthly menu plan it goes and I thought it would be a perfect, dye-free dish for St Patrick’s Day!  Enjoy!

Before trying this recipe, you need to dry roast pine nuts.  To do this, heat a dry pan on the stovetop.  Add one cup of pine nuts and about 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to the hot dry pan and toss until about half the pine nuts are browned on one side.  This makes the pine nuts sweet and slightly salty. 

Spinach Asparagus Pesto Pasta

  • 1/2 bunch asparagus
  • 1 bunch spinach, washed and rinsed
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup dry-toasted pine nuts
  • olive oil

Blanch asparagus in a pot of water for 4 minutes or until bright green.  Drain and transfer to a food processor.  Add raw, washed spinach.  Pulse process until it resembles a mash.  Add olive oil while food processor is on until smooth and almost creamy looking.  Add half the dry roasted pine nuts and the cheese and process it all on high for about one minute or until super smooth. 

Toss this recipe with 2 pounds of pasta of your choice and add the rest of the pine nuts on top with extra parmesan if you have it.  Serve warm.

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And just in case you are making this for St Patrick’s Day, it is perfectly paired with my Rainbow Fruit Pizza recipe I just posted on Inner Child Food!

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St Patrick's Day Treat - Rainbow Fruit Pizza!

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

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