Doesn’t this look delicious? Don’t be fooled by looks or preconceived notions in general.
Asparagus Season. Eat it while it’s fresh. To freeze asparagus is a sin, punishable with one hundred lashes on the left hand with– appropriately enough– a stalk of asparagus. Believe me, after about eighty lashes, you’ll be begging to unplug your freezer.
The theoretical versatility of fresh asparagus is nothing short of staggering. Boiled, fried, baked, pickled– the imagination reels with possibilities. Asparagus flatbread, asparagus smoothies, shredded asparagus, asparagus fries, asparagus spring rolls, asparagus soup, asparagus lasagne, asparagus wine . . . okay, so I’ve never heard of asparagus wine, but I’m sure someone out there has given it a try. My guess is that the results were quite underwhelming, so it hasn’t caught on in the wine world.
I say “theoretical versatility,” for if you look a little closer, in almost every case, asparagus is pretending to be something else. Kind of like the guy with the trumpet trying to be a rock musician. Or carob pretending to be chocolate. It doesn’t quite fly.
But here’s an asparagus recipe that actually works. Asparagus Pesto. When you make this, don’t expect the pesto to taste like your old basil, etc. standby pesto. Just open your mind to a new flavour, setting judgement aside until you’ve actually tasted it. To forewarn you, I’ll just say it doesn’t have the bite that basil pesto has, which isn’t to say this is good or bad. It’s just the way it is.
So, keep an open mind. Let the guy play his trumpet version of “Seven Nation Army.” Try asparagus pesto. Release those assumptions!
1 lb. asparagus
1 cup grated parmesan
2 cloves of garlic
3 handfuls of spinach
3/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon or 1 tablespoon juice
1. Cook asparagus in salted water until soft.
2. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
3. Roast or fry the walnuts. (I like to fry them, personally. Don’t microwave!)
4. Puree the asparagus, garlic, spinach and walnuts.
5. Slowly drizzle oil into mixture. If too thick, add water.
6. Add lemon juice and salt to taste.
Simply mixed into fresh noodles, this makes a dish worth taking up the trumpet for.