Asparagus with Pistachio-Mint Pesto over Penne


On a day after I teach and then practice yoga, I like to come home midday and make myself a big, elaborate pasta lunch. This is one of them: a delicious pesto tossed with fresh asparagus! This makes more pesto than I need for this dish so I will be using the leftover for tofu scramble tomorrow.

makes 2 servings

1/2 lb. penne
6 asparagus spears
1 shallot
Olive oil
S and P, to taste
Ice bath

1/2 cup mint
1/2 cup parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons pistachios
1 clove of garlic
1/2 tablespoon chickpea miso

Make the pesto by placing all ingredients in the food processor and combining. Set aside.

Boil water. You will use this to blanche the asparagus and make the pasta. Set up the ice bath by filling a bowl with ice cubes and cold water.

Break off the bottom tip of the asparagus and then cut into penne sized pieces, about thirds. Drop into the boiling water and blanche for 3 minutes (exactly 3, set a timer.) Remove the asparagus with a spider strainer and drop into the ice bath to stop the cooking. Lay the aspargus on a kitchen towel to dry.

Add the penne to the water and cook until al dente.

Thinly slice the shallots and sauté in olive oil and a dash of salt until soft. Add the asparagus to heat through. Add the pesto and mix with the asparagus and shallots  Then, add the penne and combine well.


Warm Mushroom, Asparagus & Artichoke Salad


I make this for lunch when I am home by myself because it is so easy and my husband does not eat mushrooms, asparagus or artichokes.

1 small shallot
1 cup of mushrooms
1 cup of asparagus
6 artichoke hearts
Olive oil
Bunch of fresh parsley
The juice of 1/2 a lemon
S and P

Slice the shallot. Add a small amount of olive oil to a pan along with the shallots and sauté on medium until just softening.

Clean the mushrooms (brush with a paper towel, no water), slice and add to the pan. Cook until just turning brownish. Cut the asparagus into small pieces and add to the pan. Cut the artichoke hearts into quarters and add to the pan. Chop the parsley and mix with the vegetables.

When the asparagus have turned bright green, squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the top and enjoy!