Barely-Cooked Asparagus with Basil Pesto
Barely Cooked Asparagus with Basil Pesto is about as quick and delicious as it gets for a low-carb side dish, and it’s also Keto, low-glycemic, gluten-free, meatless, and South Beach Diet friendly. Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
Lots of people who like my blog love the Five Ingredients index, where I feature tasty low-carb recipes with five ingredients or less. This Barely-Cooked Asparagus with Basil Pesto is a combination I stumbled on by accident years ago on a day when I had fresh asparagus and noticed a jar of pesto in the fridge. The pesto turned out to be fantastic with lightly cooked asparagus.
When I made the recipe again recently to take better photos, it was even better with my homemade Basil Pesto with Lemon, something I always make and freeze when my garden has an abundance of basil. But even if you use basil pesto from a jar, I promise that this will become one of your favorite ways to cook asparagus.
(Barely-Cooked Asparagus with Basil Pesto was updated with new photos and step-by-step instructions in April 2012. There hasn’t been much cooking going on while I’ve been trying to get better, but before I got sick I cooked my first asparagus of the year and re-did the photos for this favorite recipe; enjoy!)
I make big batches of Basil Pesto with Lemon and freeze it in mini-muffin tins. Then I seal the cubes in FoodSaver bags so it’s easy to use take out a few when I need some pesto! You can definitely use purchased pesto if making pesto isn’t happening in your world! Start a pot of boiling, salted water; then trim the asparagus and cut on the diagonal into short pieces about 2 inches long.
When the water comes to a boil, add the asparagus and cook not more than 2 or 3 minutes (time it and test a piece!) Drain the hot asparagus into a colander placed in the sink.
As soon as the asparagus has drained, put in a bowl and add the pesto. Let it melt for a minute or two. Then toss the asparagus with the pesto.
Serve immediately, with a little salt and pepper if you’d like! Yum!
More Favorite Ways to Cook Asparagus from Kalyn:
Barely-Cooked Asparagus with Basil Pesto
Barely Cooked Asparagus with Basil Pesto is about as quick and delicious as it gets for a low-carb side dish.
- 1-2 tsp. salt (for asparagus cooking water)
- 1 lb. fresh asparagus
- 1-2 T basil pesto (I used my Basil Pesto with Lemon, but purchased pesto will also work)
- Fill medium sized pot with water, add a generous amount of salt (as if you were salting the water for pasta) and bring to a boil.
- Be sure asparagus is clean, then break off the end of one piece to see where the woody stalk starts.
- Trim the other asparagus pieces to that size, then cut asparagus on the diagonal into pieces about 2 inches long.
- When the water comes to a boil, add the asparagus and cook 2-3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Don’t overcook, use a timer!
- When asparagus is lightly cooked but still fairly crisp, drain it into a colander placed in the sink.
- When the water has drained, put the hot asparagus into a bowl; add the pesto (I used my Basil Pesto with Lemon, but purchased pesto will also work) and let it melt for a minute or two.
- Then toss the asparagus with the pesto and serve immediately.
Recipe created by Kalyn when she had leftover pesto in the fridge and some lovely fresh asparagus.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This is a perfect side dish for any low-carb, Keto, or low-glycemic diet and all phases of the South Beach Diet.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
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