Roasted Asparagus with Pesto and Lemon Zest

Recipes, Weekend Cooking, Worknight Dinners
roasted asparagus with lemon and pesto
roasted asparagus with lemon and pesto

Photo: Leigh Loftus

During the spring when vibrant produce abounds at the farmer’s market (and…Whole Foods), you will be hard pressed find a more stately veggie to add to your dinner menu no matter what the occasion. The beauty in these tall and sprightly spears lies in their versatility. Whether you blanch, sauté, or wrap them in salty prosciutto, it’s hard not to love asparagus.

Asparagus is practically synonymous with spring, but so are words like “fresh pesto” and “lemon zest.” Well, we kind of just made that up, but take our word for it, because if you like asparagus already, you’ll really like asparagus tossed in fresh pesto, homemade or store bought, then dusted with potent lemon zest and freshly grated parmesan Cheese.

This recipe comes together in almost as much time as it takes to roast the asparagus in a pre-heated oven. You could also do this on the grill, if you happen to live in a climate blessed with temperate weather.

roasted asparagus with lemon and pesto

Photo: Leigh Loftus

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 bunch (about 1 pound) fresh asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed
  • 2 heaping tablespoons homemade or store bought pesto sauce
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place asparagus and pesto in large resealable food storage bag and seal shut. Shake to mix pesto sauce asparagus together. Remove from bag and arrange in single layer on baking sheet.
  2. Place asparagus in the oven and roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Grate lemon peel over asparagus; squeeze with a little lemon juice. Top with a sprinkle of cheese. Serve immediately.

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1 Comment

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    May 9, 2014 at 12:20 am

    […] For people with no access to grilling, it’s a sad, dark time where you turn on your oven, blast your AC and make the best of it. This recipe, adapted from a Barefoot Contessa cookbook, is an anytime of year recipe. It’s a great winter dish, pairing just as well with our pappardelle with white truffle butter cream sauce and a glass of red as it will with a crisp Sancerre and a healthy serving of roasted asparagus with pesto and lemon. […]

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