asparagus pesto pasta salad

asparagus pesto pasta salad // batch-22

Basil is…not my favorite herb.  To me, there is nothing worse than taking a bite of what I thought was a benign spinach salad, only to chomp down on an unexpected basil leaf. I can take or leave a basil-infused herbal cocktail, but a dessert is not a dessert if it contains even the subtle suggestion of herbs (I’m looking at you, artisan ice cream makers).

asparagus pesto pasta salad // batch-22

Maybe my palate is underdeveloped or unsophisticated, but I firmly believe there is a time and a place for basil: pasta, pizza, and, of course, pesto.

But even pesto can go basil-free if it wants. Okay, if I want). Spinach and kale are common substitutes, but Roommate H told me that her dad sometimes uses blanched asparagus. What?! Vegetable enthusiast that I am, I knew I had to try it.

asparagus pesto pasta salad // batch-22

I was not disappointed (to say the least).

This pesto tastes green. Green like springtime, picnics, farmer’s markets, and the promise of summer. I couldn’t resist folding it into a seasonally inspired pasta salad: sweet peas, tangy sun-dried tomatoes, and tart lemon.

asparagus pesto pasta salad // batch-22

I hope spring has sprung in your corner of the world. It’s finally here in New York (I think).

Here’s hoping I didn’t just jinx it.

asparagus pesto pasta salad // batch-22

Asparagus Pesto Pasta Salad

Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as a side

For the pesto:

  • 1 pound asparagus, cut into two-inch pieces (ends trimmed)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons raw pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the pasta salad:

  • 8 oz pasta (I used gluten-free fusilli)
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Cook pasta in boiling water until  al dente. Strain, set in a large bowl or pot,  and allow to cool completely.

Blanch asparagus in boiling water for one minute, drain, and set aside. Combine asparagus, garlic, pine nuts, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Drizzle olive oil into the processor with the motor running. Blend until smooth.

Add peas and sun-dried tomatoes to the pasta. Spoon pesto over top and mix to combine. Drizzle with lemon juice and either chill or serve at room temperature.


One comment

  1. Pingback: let’s talk about salad | BATCH-22

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