This nutty asparagus basil pesto is so good you’d want to put it on almost anything. It's easy to make and comes together fairly quickly.
I make a huge batch of this recipe during spring or summer when asparagus and basil are abundant. I then freeze it to use in the colder months; that way, I can enjoy Pesto year-round. The pesto act as a nice base for this flatbread pizza. You've got to try it!
I don’t know about you, but I feel a sense of euphoria whenever I stumble on a great bargain. Depending on the season, you know how pricey fresh basil can get, so when I found 3 heads on sale a couple of months back at Sprouts for $5, I cleared the entire shelf. I kid, but I made sure to get a month’s worth.
Wait, what do I do with all-a-dat basil before it starts to rot? Cha-ching! Pesto and basil vinaigrette, of course!
I had fresh asparagus in the refrigerator and figured, what could go wrong if I paired a bunch of basil, asparagus, oil, and cheese in the blender? FAIL! I didn’t like the fresh asparagus taste, and the pesto was bland.
After several trials of concoctions and a few grocery stores runs, I found the best-tasting pesto I’ve ever tasted, no seriously, or have I been trying a couple of drab pestos? I’ll never know because this asparagus basil pesto is now my family’s favorite. My hubby hates pesto, but after tasting the pasta dish I made with these, he requests it more often.
This recipe calls for a handful of ingredients like pine nuts. Although I used toasted pine nuts for this recipe, if you can’t find pine nuts where you live, you can substitute with other budget-friendly nuts like sunflower seeds, walnuts, and my second favorite cashews. The pine nuts adds balance to the pesto and it’s truly a game changer.
Another ingredient that I’ll advise you not to omit is fresh lemon juice. Freshly squeezed lemon juice brightens up the pesto and brings all the ingredients together. It also helps retain the vibrant colors of the vegetables. Score right!
Let’s get right on it!
How to make Nutty Asparagus Basil Pesto
To make this pesto, you’ll need the following:
Red pepper flakes or black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil + more
Toasted pine nut (see the recipe note on how to toast pinenuts)
I’ve had people ask me if they need to peel the tough skin off the asparagus for the pesto, the answer is no. There is no need to do that seeing as we will be sauteeing these before blending. Also, you need all the nutrients, so why waste it.
Put it together...
Rinse asparagus and pat dry with paper/kitchen towel. Trim the ends (the hard part) and cut in half.
Heat up a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a pan on medium heat, be careful not to overheat, this oil has a high burning point, you don’t want to burn the asparagus.
Add the asparagus and saute for 4 minutes, tossing frequently. Add salt and pepper, and allow to cook for another minute or two or until charred.
Place the asparagus, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, toasted pine nuts and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse 3-4 times or until roughly blended. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust to taste. Add the parmesan and pulse some more or until you reach the desired consistency.
Transfer pesto into a jar or bowl, swirl a little oil on top and enjoy.
In 10 minutes or less, you can have this easy nutty asparagus basil pesto on your dinner table. I paired mine with some colorful gourmet Marella durum wheat pasta, extra asparagus spears, and grape tomatoes. It was simply scrumptious.
I hope you’ll give this nutty asparagus basil pesto a try.
Try my garlic herb dressing if you are looking for another delicious sauce to brighten up your dish this season. This vinaigrette dressing is also a good idea, as well as my herbed compound butter spread.
Share a picture of your nutty asparagus basil pesto with us on social media using the hashtag worldlytreat(#worldlytreat), we’d love to join the soirée. Don’t forget to pin it for later.
Have a beautiful start to spring!!!
Peace & Love
Nutty Asparagus Basil Pesto
- 1 bunch Asparagus head, about 1 lb
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- ½ teaspoon Red pepper flakes ( black pepper works too)
- ½ cup Extra virgin olive oil + 1 tablespoon
- Juice of a Lemon, (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 cup packed fresh basil
- ¾ cup Toasted pine nut (start with ½ cup until desired taste)
- ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Rinse asparagus and pat dry with paper/kitchen towel. Trim the ends (the hard part) and cut in half. Heat up a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the asparagus and saute for 4 minutes, tossing frequently. Add salt and pepper, and allow to cook for another minute or two or until charred. Place the asparagus, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, toasted pine nuts and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse 3-4 times or until roughly blended. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust to taste. Add the parmesan and pulse some more or until you reach the desired consistency. Transfer pesto into a jar or bowl, swirl a little oil on top and enjoy.
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