Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Asparagus Walnut Pesto and Changing Seasons
Happy Spring! We’ve had a few sunny days in a row and it really feels like spring has arrived. Our plum tree is full of blossoms and pretty buds are popping up out of the ground. Thoughts of baseball season (much anticipated in our house), pink nail polish and spring produce fill my mind.
A fresh season is a time for reflection, a time to pause. Similar to the beginning of a new calendar year, it can be a time for growth and inspiration. I like to think of it as an opportunity to stretch myself (sometimes literally – time for more yoga!) and discover something new.
At times the “something new” is as simple as saying, “Why didn’t I think of that?”, as I did when reading the most recent issue of Fine Cooking and saw a recipe for Asparagus Pesto. Brilliant! The first asparagus has arrived here and I just couldn’t resist picking up a green bouquet of fat stalks – not a bad impulse buy considering my other pick was a black salt and burnt sugar caramel chocolate bar.
Nothing celebrates spring like asparagus. This pesto combines raw asparagus with thyme, walnuts, garlic and Parmesan cheese. It is quick to whiz up in the food processor and is full of bright, fresh flavor.
Eggs (another sign of spring) and asparagus marry well. With this in mind, I spread the pastel green pesto on toasted bread (made with my new sourdough starter – I feel like such a proud parent!) and topped the slices with sunny-side up eggs. My son, Isaac, and I happily munched this for lunch together with the sun streaming through the window. A delightful way to welcome spring!
I’m off to try my hand at cultured butter and clotted cream now.
Asparagus Walnut Pesto
Adapted from Fine Cooking
Makes 1 cup
1 large clove garlic
8 ounces asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/8 cup olive oil
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Drop the garlic clove in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to chop. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until a thick puree forms, scraping the sides down a couple of times. Taste for salt, pepper and additional lemon juice. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
** This recipe has been linked to the Fresh Produce Tuesday series hosted by 2 Sisters 2 Cities.