Spring Asparagus Purée

I have to admit, I am getting a little tired of asparagus.  It has been showing up in some form (usually roasted with olive oil and salt) for days on end.  I feel bad complaining about it because it is such a delicacy and I am always so, so excited to see it when it first arrives.  First world problem?  Yes.  For sure.  Here is a new and fun way to use it that keeps it exciting, even at the end of the season.  It is best over a bed of fresh egg fettuccine noodles.  It comes from Heidi Swanson’s stellar cookbook, Super Natural Cooking. (Editor’s note: Although it will turn the Asparagus Purée dark-colored, I wouldn’t hesitate to substitute the karinata kale that is in your box for the spinach.  If you don’t happen to have pine nuts, maybe you could toast some almonds or walnuts as a substitute.)

-- Jenna Clemens


1 bunch asparagus spears, trimmed and halved crosswise.  

3 handfuls baby spinach leaves

2 cloves garlic

1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

1 cup toasted pine nuts

1/4 cup olive oil

juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt


Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.  Salt the water, and drop the asparagus spears into the pot.  Cook for 2 or so minutes, until the spears are bright green and barely tender.  Drain and transfer to a food processor or a blender.  Add the spinach, garlic, 1 cup parmesan and 3/4 cup pine nuts.  Purée, and with the motor running, drizzle in the 1/4 cup olive oil until a paste forms.  It should be the loose consistency of a pesto.  Add the lemon juice and salt.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  

Cook your favorite pasta.  Fresh egg pasta is best, but dried will work too.  Really any shape would be good!  Drain the pasta and toss immediately with 1 cup of asparagus purée, stirring in more afterwards depending on how heavily coated you like it.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup pine nuts, a dusting of parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.

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