Happy Earth Day! There are so many food scraps that are often thrown out but can be repurposed into something new, just like this Parsley Stem Pesto.With today being Earth Day, The Recipe ReDux members were challenged to show how to reduce food waste. Whatever you would normally toss, use it up! I use a lot of fresh herbs in my kitchen, but the stems usually end up in the trash, which is crazy because the stems actually have more of an intense flavor.
I loved this month’s theme because it got me thinking of the amount of food waste that tends to happen in my kitchen. So instead of tossing my parsley stems, I created a parsley stem pesto.The typical herb to use in pesto is basil, but really any herb will do. Boy, do those stems have great flavor! The pesto is this intense green color with a fresh and flavorful zing to it.I also subbed pine nuts for walnuts. I tend to like my pesto a little thicker, so the walnuts are great for that. Plus, walnuts were what I had on hand and a great source of polyunsaturated fats!
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1 cup parsley stems, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
- Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F.
- Place the asparagus into a mixing bowl, and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Bake in the preheated oven until just tender, 12 to 15 minutes depending on thickness.
- While the asparagus is cooking, add walnuts, parsley, parmesan cheese, garlic, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse again.
- Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while the food processor is running just long enough to incorporate the oil, about 20-30 seconds.
- Spread pesto over asparagus and serve.
Reserve extra pesto in an airtight container in the refrigerator.