Asparagus Pesto

This recipe is from Mark Bittman in The New York Times, and I’m retaining its name even though I most often make it with broccoli or cauliflower, or sometimes a combination of the two.

You can use it wherever you’d use regular pesto and serve it to the ladies who lunch; I usually put it on pasta or salmon or other vegetables. I’m listing the quantities that Bittman gave, but I make it just for myself so I cut back on them somewhat. I’ve made a few other adjustments, like I use an immersion blender rather than a food processor. Use whatever works for you.

Time 20 minutes
Yield 4 to 6 servings (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 pound asparagus (or broccoli or cauliflower), trimmed and cut into 2-inch segments 
1 clove garlic, or more to taste
1/4 cup pine nuts (walnuts work well here also)
1/4 cup olive oil, or more as desired
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste.


  1. Cook the asparagus (or broccoli or cauliflower) in lightly salted water until fully tender but not mushy, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well, reserving some of the cooking liquid.
  2. Put the cooked vegetable in a deep bowl (or food processor) and add the garlic, nuts, two tablespoons of the oil, Parmesan, a pinch of salt and a couple of tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Process the mixture with an immersion blender (or food processor); scrape down the sides of the container if necessary, and 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 or other vegetables. Will keep in the fridge for a day or so.


Asparagus Pesto

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