Asparagus pesto


Difficulty:  Easy

Serves:  8 at home or 30 tastes in the classroom

Fresh from the garden:  garlic, lemon, soft herbs, spinach, asparagus

Recipe source: Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation


  • metric measuring cups & spoons
  • scales
  • chopping board & non-slip mat
  • cook’s knife
  • grater
  • small frying pan, for toasting nuts or seeds
  • medium-sized saucepan
  • colander
  • food processor or mortar and pestle
  • spatula
  • serving bowl

  • 2 bunches of asparagus, woody ends snapped off
  • 100 g parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach leaves
  • 1 large handful of mixed soft herbs (such as basil, parsley, chervil)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 80 g pine nuts (or pepitas or sunflower seeds), toasted
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt, to taste
  • ¼ tsp pepper, to taste
What to do

  • Prepare all of the ingredients based on the instructions in the ingredients list.
  • Fill the saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Blanch the asparagus for 1 minute, then drain and set aside to cool.
  • Roughly chop the asparagus and place in the bowl of the food processor.
  • Add the parmesan, spinach and herbs, then process until finely chopped.
  • Add the garlic to the food processor along with the toasted pine nuts and lemon zest.
  • Process until you have a rough paste.
  • With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil.
  • Season to taste with the salt and pepper.
  • Scrape the pesto into the serving bowl and serve.
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