Asparagus is most available and affordable during the peak of its season, in April and May. Look for firm yet tender stalks that have tight tips that are dark green or even purple in color. One 3oz serving of asparagus provides over half the recommended daily amount (RDA) of vitamin C and folic acid as well as 25% of the RDA for vitamin E!
The best way to preserve all those great nutrients is to store asparagus standing in a container with an inch of water (in the fridge) and to steam it (as opposed to boiling).
Use this asparagus pesto on pasta (if you have a picky eater of any age, mix 1 part of this pesto with 2 parts of tomato pasta sauce), as a spread on sandwiches, as an appetizer with slices of baguette, as a sauce on a pizza crust...the possibilities are countless!
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- 1-2 TBL lemon juice
- 2 TBL chopped basil
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 TBL of reserve water from steamed asparagus
- salt/pepper to taste
Wash asparagus and trim off the woody ends. Chop into thirds and put into a steamer for about 5 minutes, until tender-crisp. Drain the asparagus and reserve 2 TBL of the steaming water. Put asparagus, lemon juice, basil, parmesan cheese, and asparagus water into a food processor and pulse until a rough puree forms. Add salt and pepper to taste. We like to put this on our new Peas of Pie pizza or our Mamma's Pasta Puffets!