Grilled Asparagus Salad with Spicy Herbed Pesto

Grilled Asparagus Salad with Spicy Herbed Pesto
Staff Writer
Grilled Asparagus Salad with Spicy Herbed Pesto

Tim Byres

Grilled Asparagus Salad with Spicy Herbed Pesto

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.

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

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.

Grilled Asparagus Shopping Tip

Look for vegetables that are firm and bright in color – avoid those that are wilted or have wrinkled skins, which are signs of age.

Grilled Asparagus Cooking Tip

Vegetable should typically be cooked as quickly as possible, as they can become bland and mushy, and lose vitamins and minerals.