Thursday, October 7, 2010

Steve's pistachio asparagus pesto

Wednesday's surprise dinner.  All I could think about from 3:00 on was how hungry I was, and after hoping all the way home that I'd have the patience to make something and not just plop down on the sofa with some cashews and beer, I walked in the door and discovered that Steve had just finished making this!  What a treat!

(Loosely based on this recipe.)
1 lb asparagus
3/4 cup pistachio nuts
1 tbsp garlic
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
10 oz whole wheat rotini pasta

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook for 4 minutes submerged. Remove from the water and shock in a bowl of ice water. Drain and then place on a cutting board.
Slice off the asparagus tips at about 3/4 inch and set aside. Toss the bottom 1/5 of the stalks.  Finely chop the rest.
2. Add the garlic to a food processor along with 4 tablespoons of the pistachios, olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Blend until the pistachios are crushed and the asparagus is coarsely chopped.
3. Add the pasta to a pot of boiling water. Cook for 10-12 Min.. Drain and cool.
4. Add the pesto and stir well. 
5. Chop up the remaining pistachios add with the remaining chopped asparagus
6. Add the grated Parmesan and mix lightly.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or cold.

I had mine hot last night and again for lunch today, and it was delish!  Steve had his as a pasta salad today and added chopped tomato and a dash of cayenne pepper.  Think I'll do the same tomorrow!
Steve hardly ever cooks unless I'm out of town - not because he can't or doesn't want to, but because I usually beat him to the kitchen in the early evening.  And maybe because, I don't know, I'm a little territorial in the kitchen?  He's always asking if he can help with anything, and I always tell him no unless my hands are full and something needs to be stirred.  But he picked a great night for a nice surprise and a nice dinner.  As far as I'm concerned, I got a two-for!

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