Green Asparagus with Basil Pesto

Green Asparagus with Basil Pesto

Serve seasonal asparagus with home-made basil pesto. I add boiled potatoes on the side. It's a great dish for vegetarians, too.

Ingredients: 2 to 3 servings

Green asparagus
500 g
Basil pesto Recipe ID: 581801
3 tablespoons and plus
Salt for cooking asparagus
1 tablespoon
Cold water (with ice, preferably)
a bowlful
Olive oil
1 tablespoon
Black pepper
a pinch
Shaved parmesan cheese, optional
as needed


1. Toast the pine nuts in a frying pan and make the basil pesto. You can shave the cheese to finish the dish instead of using it in the sauce.
2. Cut off about 1 cm from the bottoms of the asparagus. Rinse with running water. Prepare a bowlful of cold water with ice. Preheat the oven to 180℃.
3. Salt the boiled water (use 1 tablespoon of salt per 1000 ml of water) and bowl the asparagus until al dente. Prepare a tea towel.
4. Remove the asparagus from the boiling water and place immediately in cold water. Move to a tea towel or paper towel. Pat dry lightly.
5. Arrange the asparagus on a baking tray and drizzle on 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Bake for 5 minutes in an oven at 180℃.
6. Pour the basil pesto onto a serving plate and place the asparagus on top. Serve with black pepper and shaved parmesan cheese.
7. I don't have a special asparagus pot so I cook the asparagus upright in a deep pot for 20 seconds first and then lay them down to cook further.
8. If you like melted cheese on top, microwave for 1 minute at Step 6.
9. I used this basil pesto for the white asparagus but I think it works better with green asparagus.

Story Behind this Recipe

It was really nice when I tried this for the first time. Peter Bunner, the chef, once recommended drying the asparagus with a little olive oil in the oven after blanching. I tried it. He didn't mention that he patted them dry after soaking them in cold water, or write down the temperature of the oven, so I included those things here after some experimenting.