Asparagus Pesto – We Heart Local BC

Asparagus Pesto

Asparagus Pesto

Jennifer Schell
Food writer Jennifer Schell says: “This is a gorgeous, fresh-tasting pesto that has an unbelievable saucy texture and super green colour. It’s great tossed with pasta, on grilled chicken, in a panini, on bruschetta…basically on anything that likes pesto.”


  • 1 pound asparagus snapped into pieces
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ cup pine nuts (If you want to keep it local, use walnuts. I hope my neighbourhood squirrel gang leaves a few behind this year!)
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 tbsps lemon zest (make sure you use organic lemons especially when zesting)
  • 2 tbsps chopped fresh basil


  1. Boil asparagus until just done in salted water. 
  2. Drain and let cool. 
  3. Into your food processor, add the asparagus, garlic, nuts, extra-virgin olive oil, Parmesan cheese, a shake of salt and a grind of fresh pepper. 
  4. Whizz for a couple of seconds – pause to scrape down the sides – add the lemon juice and zest – then whizz again. 
  5. Season with more salt and pepper or lemon to taste and scrape into bowl. 
  6. Stir in chopped basil.

This will last a couple of days in the fridge – but its brilliant green colour will change, so best to use right away tossed with a big bowl of the pasta of your choice.

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