Post and images by guest blogger, Rebecca White, of A Pleasant Little Kitchen.
Every year asparagus ushers in the bounty of spring. Bright, green and earthy—asparagus can be used to create the most delicious side and main dishes. From soups to salads to pastas the joy of asparagus is greatly satisfying and deliciously filling.
Market Street is ready to provide you with bundles of green goodness this spring! While asparagus is typically prepared by roasting or sautéing, this spring I have another suggestion: puree.
Asparagus Pesto Pasta Salad is a warm, filling and hearty recipe that uses asparagus in a whimsical way, as a green sauce for the pasta.
Blanched asparagus, parmesan cheese and olive oil are blended together to create a smooth and decadent asparagus-based sauce, similar to pesto. Toss with fuisili pasta and fresh basil—this salad is ready to celebrate the bounty of spring.
Serve this recipe as a hearty and filling meatless meal or as a side dish to your favorite Market Street to-go mains (flank steak anyone?).
Embrace spring with Market Street and their seasonally fresh produce with this Asparagus Pesto Pasta Salad.
Asparagus Pesto Pasta Salad
Serves 6 to 10
Author note: This recipe can be easily halved. To make this salad a complete meal, add Market Street’s rotisserie chicken to the top when serving.
2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed
3 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 lb fusilli
1 cup chopped basil
juice of 1 lemon
Bring a large pan of water to boil. Add the asparagus and boil asparagus until tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the asparagus from the water and and place into a blender. Keep the pan of water on the cooktop over low heat. This water will be used in the pesto and to cook the pasta.
Add 1/4 cup of the asparagus water, garlic cloves, salt and vinegar to the blender. Puree until smooth. With the food processor still on, slowly add the olive oil into the mixture. Continue to blitz until thickened. Add the parmesan and continue to blend. Turn off the food processor and stir in the black pepper and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
Bring the asparagus water to a boil and add the fusilli. Cook until tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Strain the pasta from the water and place into a serving bowl.
Add the asparagus pesto, fresh lemon juice and basil to the pasta. Toss to combine and salt to taste, serve warm.