Asparagus Season! Check out 5 uncommon Ways to Prep it

May 15, 2013 at 9:40 am


first sighting of asparagus in my CSA!

I have been anxiously awaiting the return of spring (aka, asparagus season).  Last spring I would buy two or three bunches at a time, especially when it first appeared at the market.  You also know it’s good for you right? But did you know about these newly discovered health benefits?

Here’s a few simple and delicious ways to prepare asparagus:

common ways to prep

  1. marinated in balsamic vinegar, oil, steak spice and grilled
  2. blanched, topped with lemon and fresh parsley
  3. roasted with garlic
  4. stir fried with rice noodles
  5. soup

and some uncommon ways

  1. marinated and used in homemade maki with shitake mushrooms and other fresh veggies and 
  2. as a pesto ingredient with basil or parsley, garlic, lemon and cashews or pine nuts
  3. steamed and pureed with avocados for a yummy twist on guacamole
  4. as a pizza topping then roasted and topped with fresh basil
  5. topped with bread crumbs then roasted for a crunchy topping

I received a bunch in my produce delivery this week and didn’t know which way to cook it first!

Solution: NOODLES! Kids love noodles. I love noodles. Quick prep, win-win!


Simple asparagus and pumpkin seed pesto pasta

 Makes 4-6 servings 



  • 1 lb. pasta (gluten-free brown rice or quinoa, or whole wheat)
  • 1 cup homemade or prepared pesto, I used pumpkin seed and garlic scape pesto (recipe below)
  • 1-2 bunches asparagus, chopped into 1” pieces, woody stems removed
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • sea salt to taste
  • handful of fresh herbs: basil, mint, parsley


pumpkin seed and garlic scape pesto

  • 1/2 bunch raw garlic scapes, chopped (or 3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled)
  • juice of 1 or 2 fresh lemons
  • about 1 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
  • about 1/3 cup nutritional yeast (optional for cheesy flavor)
  • about ½ cup packed fresh basil
  • handful raw spinach (optional for extra green color)
  • pinch sea salt to taste
  • drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (optional)
  • water if needed


Pesto Directions

  • Put all ingredients into food processor except water and process until desired consistency is reached, scraping the sides and adding small amounts of water and/or olive oil at a time as needed. Season to taste

 pepita pesto

Asparagus Pasta Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions
  2. While pasta is cooking, cook asparagus – steam, grill on the BBQ, or sauté in a small amount of water, or you can use coconut or grapeseed oil (these both have a high smoke point)
  3. When the pasta has been drained, return it to the cooking pot and stir in pesto. Add a small amount of water, rice milk or vegetable stock to thin it out if necessary.
  4. Stir in cooked asparagus
  5. Add sea salt to taste and top each serving with freshly chopped herbs

image (2)


What is your all-time favorite way to prepare asparagus? Leave a note in the comments below this post or comment on Facebook. 

Love this recipe? Check out Barefoot Essence for more un-fussy plant-powered recipes and minimalist inspiration.