There are bunches of asparagus available just about everywhere in Ontario right now. I received a bunch in my share basket this week so I wanted to use it in a way that would preserve this delicious stalky green vegetable. I’ve created a versatile recipe that allows you to add asparagus into multiple dishes. I have included the recipe for the pesto, as well as a few other recipes where you can use it. My family absolutely loves this pesto – the flavour enhances even the most boring dishes and pairs well with eggs, pasta and even slathered on a nice piece of crusty bread!
The pesto can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, ready to be included in a quick weeknight meal! This egg salad recipe is also PERFECT for picnics. You can bring the filling and pita pockets with you and assemble the sandwiches at the park.
- Asparagus Pesto:
- 2 lbs (900g) asparagus
- 1 large garlic clove, chopped
- 2 tbsp. (28 g) toasted pine nuts
- 4 tbsp. (56 g) grated parmigiano cheese
- 4 tbsp. (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and fresh ground pepper
- 8 large eggs
- 1 tbsp. (15 mL) white vinegar
- ½ tsp. ( 2.5 mL) salt
- 1 cup (250 mL) quality mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp. (30 mL) fresh lemon juice
- 4 whole wheat medium pita pockets
- 1 cup (250 mL) arugula
- Place eggs, single layer in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Cover with water, add vinegar and salt. Cook on medium-high heat and bring water to a running boil. Turn off heat, cover and let sit for 10-12 minutes.
- In the meantime prepare the asparagus pesto. Cut off and disregard the woody ends of the asparagus. With the remaining asparagus, cut off the bottom 2 inches of ends. Set aside the large portions for garnish.
- Add asparagus, toasted pine nuts, garlic, cheese and olive oil to a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped but a spreadable consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Left over pesto can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
- Whisk the mayonnaise and lemon juice until well incorporated.
- Strain the water from the eggs and run them under cold water to cool for easy peeling.
- In a large bowl, roughly chop eggs. Add mayonnaise mixture and two heaping tablespoons of pesto. Mix gently to well coat the eggs. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cut each pita into 4 triangles. Divide egg mixture and arugula amongst the pita triangles. Garnish with reserved asparagus heads.
Another great way to enjoy this pesto is to toss it with your favourite pasta. Toss it with a little extra-virgin olive oil and red pepper flakes (for some heat) and top with fresh Parmesan cheese!
This recipe was first features in Lady York Food’s (Toronto) Spring/Summer Magazine. I am excited to share it with you all, here, especially those who did not get a chance to pick up one of the magazines! Enjoy!