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I have mixed feelings about asparagus season. I'm excited that anything besides squash will be at the market, but overwhelmed with endless recipe planning around these vibrant green stalks. A great way to soothe this locavore angst is by making asparagus pesto. It highlights the bright flavours of the asparagus. Plus, it's very versatile: Use it as a main for pasta or to top chicken and fish, serve it as a dip or spread it on sandwiches. Best of all you can whip through bundles of asparagus with the simple pulse of the food processor.

Servings: Makes about 1 1/2 cups


500 g asparagus

3/4 cup fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

a clove or two of garlic

1/4 cup pine nuts

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp salt

few grinds fresh pepper

1/3 cup olive oil


Trim the woody ends off 500g of asparagus and discard. Cut the rest of the stalks into smaller segments and place into a pot of boiling, well-salted water. Cook until tender, drain and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, grate 3/4 cup of fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano. Place the asparagus, the cheese, a clove (or two) of garlic, 1/4 cup pine nuts, 2 tsp fresh lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt and a few grinds fresh pepper into a food processor. Measure out 1/3 cup olive oil and drizzle in about a tablespoon to moisten. Pulse until smooth. Scrape down the sides and drizzle in the rest of the oil while pulsing the mixture until the oil is completely incorporated.