Monday, June 2, 2014

Asparagus Sunflower Pesto

We love pesto because it's fresh, versatile, delicious, and surprisingly easy to make! So easy that kids got to make it with us at Green City Market this past weekend using a really neat manual food processor (coming very soon to our retail store!).

In this spring-y play on traditional pesto, we use asparagus in addition to basil. The raw sunflower seeds stand in really well for pine nuts. And in our market version, we used Brunkow's Little Darling cheese instead of parmesan. We served the pesto as a spread on Potter's Classic Wheat Crackers. It also makes a great pasta sauce, pizza base, or sandwich spread. Enjoy!

Asparagus Sunflower Pesto

1/2 lb asparagus
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 oz fresh basil leaves
2 oz grated parmesan cheese (or other salty nutty variety)
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
Few lemon wedges
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup olive oil

Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Snap tough ends off asparagus spears. Break spears into thirds or quarters. Once water is boiling, add asparagus and cook until crisp tender, about 2-3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In the bowl of your food processor, combine asparagus stalks, garlic, basil, cheese, sunflower seeds, juice from lemon wedges, salt and 1/4 cup olive oil. Pulse until finely choped. Scrape down sides. Add more olive oil a tablespoon at a time if needed for consistency, and pulse a few more times to combine. Taste for seasoning and add additional salt if necessary. Serve on crackers, crostini or pasta, and garnish with grated cheese if you'd like.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

What Kids Can Do (with appropriate tools and adult supervision)
*Snap off tough ends of asparagus, and then snap spears into pieces
*Snip basil leaves
*Grate cheese
*Squeeze lemon wedges
*Measure out sunflower seeds, salt and oil
*Pulse in food processor
*Taste for seasoning

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