Asparagus with Walnut Pesto

Source: Sarah Henkin, CUESA's market chef

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

It was prepared at CUESA’s Food Wise Booth on April 12, 2011


½ cup walnuts
¼ pound Pecorino cheese, grated, plus more for garnish
1 bunch chives, chopped,
1 clove garlic, chopped
Salt and freshly cracked black
pepper, to taste
1 cup (or more) extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch asparagus


Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add the walnuts. Blanch the walnuts for about 10 minutes and drain, reserving some of the water.  After the walnuts have cooled a bit, add to a food processor and pulse to chop.  Add the pecorino, chives (reserve a bit of the chive for garnish), garlic, salt and pepper and process with a splash of the blanching water until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Drizzle in olive oil while processing until the pesto is the desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and set aside

Snap the woody ends off the asparagus. Add to a sauté pan with a bit of water, cover and steam over high flame until asparagus has turned bright green and is just tender. Drain. 

To serve: place asparagus on a serving platter. Spoon walnut pesto over the top and garnish with pecorino and chives. You’ll have pesto left over; use it as a topping for other vegetables, a spread for crostini or mix in with pasta. It will keep for up to a week refrigerated.

Farmers Market Ingredients