roasted asparagus with pistachio nut purée

April 24, 2014 § 76 Comments

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This is a seriously delicious light dinner.   The recipe comes  from a local Seattle cook Michael Natkin.   He has a wonderful cookbook called Herbivoracious and a blog full of unique vegetarian recipes.  Here we have a pistachio nut puree although as he puts it  “puree isn’t quite the right word. It is more like a nut-based hummus; rich, creamy, slightly fluffy, but packed full of the flavor of roasted nuts.”

I n g r e d i e n t s

  • 1 cup unsalted, roasted pistachios
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 small garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup water, or a little more as needed
For the asparagus
  • 1 pound fat asparagus spears, trimmed
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted, roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • flaky salt
  • fresh chives
For the pistachio puree

Combine the pistachos, lemon juice, garlic, salt, cumin, smoked paprika, and half of the olive oil in the blender. With the lid on and the blender running on medium low speed, drizzle in the remaining oil and then the water, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Blend until color lightens and fairly smooth but not completely textureless. You may need to add a little more water.
Taste and adjust seasoning; it will likely need more salt and possibly more lemon juice or spices, but don’t overpower the pistachio flavor. Reserve, with plastic wrap on the surface to prevent oxidation.

For the asparagus

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss the asparagus with a bit of olive oil and sea salt. Roast on a baking sheet until tender, about 10 minutes. Turn on broiler and cook until blackened in spots.  To serve, spoon the pistachio puree on a plate and place the asparagus on top. Garnish with the balsamic vinegar, chopped pistachios, flaky salt and snipped chives.

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