Grilled Asparagus Salad with Spicy Herbed Pesto

Ingredients

For the spicy herbed pesto:

  • 1 cup chopped tomatillo
  • ½ cup Italian parsley sprigs
  • ½ cup basil leaves
  • ½ cup cilantro sprigs
  • 5 medium garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon original Tabasco® brand pepper sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup toasted pecans
  • Salt

For the grilled asparagus salad:

  • 3 bunches medium-size asparagus
  • ½ cup small basil leaves
  • ½ cup fresh Italian parsley
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup chopped toasted pecans
  • ½ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Salt, to taste

Though pesto is typically made with basil, Parmesan, pine nuts, and garlic, adding a little bit of heat gives a great twist to this classic asparagus dish. It's the perfect spring starter for a weeknight dinner.

Click here to see Spicy BBQ Recipes.  

Click here to see A Vegetarian Grilling Menu.

Directions

For the spicy herbed pesto:

Combine tomatillo, parsley, basil, cilantro, garlic, water, Tabasco sauce, lime juice, and cumin in blender. Blend until mixed. Add Parmesan cheese and pecans; blend until smooth. Remove to bowl; season with salt to taste. Cover and set aside.

For the grilled asparagus salad:

Preheat grill or broiler. Rinse and trim asparagus. Place in large shallow bowl; carefully toss with 1 cup of the pesto; mix well. Season to taste with salt.

Grill or broil asparagus one half at a time until lightly charred, turning frequently. Repeat with remaining asparagus.

Combine basil, parsley and cilantro in medium bowl; toss with ½ cup of the pesto. 

To serve, place 6 asparagus on individual plate; top with tossed herbs. Sprinkle with pecans and Parmesan. Spoon small dollops of the pesto on the plate.

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