Recipe: Asparagus and Lemon Basil Pesto

by Polly N on September 4, 2010

I really don’t cook food these days but I do spend hours “uncooking”. For those of you just tuning in, I eat a mainly raw vegan diet which involves eating food in it’s natural form maintaining the foods enzymes and nutrient content.

Exactly what I DON'T look like cooking!

Today I began at 3.30pm and didn’t stop until gone 10pm but I didn’t really notice as I truly love and enjoy it. I love trying new recipes, experimenting with lots of different foods and flavours and the best bit – getting to eat it of course! I have always enjoyed cooking but today I realised that it’s an outlet for my creativity which brings me great joy – something we should all have in some kind of form.

In Sonja Lyubomirsky’s “The How of Happiness”, she lists 12 activities that are scientifically proven to cultivate happiness. One of the activities is described as “Increasing flow experiences”. My interpretation of this is to do things that you enjoy – I mean really enjoy, what makes you feel happy and free. Can’t think of anything you like to do that makes you feel that way? Ask yourself what you are normally doing when you lose track of time. When you find the answer, do more of it and cultivate some joy in your day.

So while I was “increasing my flow experience” today, I found myself making the most delicious Orange Coconut Macaroons, Yellow Pepper Patties, Strawberry and Passion Fruit Cheesecake and Asparagus with Lemon Basil Pesto (below). Whenever my brain needs a break, I normally find myself in the kitchen whipping something up. Sometimes I walk into the kitchen just to get some water with the intention of then sitting down to work at my computer but my body takes over and before I know it, my hands are covered in food and I’m elbow-deep in my latest creation!

 Look at me with my snazzy little zig-zag lemon basil pesto dizzle dazzle!  I wasn’t sure asparagus was something that could be eaten raw but by marinating it in lemon juice, oil, tamari and salt, the asparagus takes on the appearance as though it has been cooked. Very tasty indeed and easy to do!


Asparagus and Lemon Pesto

For the asparagus:

  • 12 spears asparagus
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ripe avocado

Cut off the very ends of the asparagus and discard. To allow easy absorption of the marinade, take a zester to the skin and lightly scrape the spear. Marinate the spears with the olive oil, tamari, lemon juice and salt for at least 1 hour +.  You could even place them in the oven on the lowest setting leaving the door ajar or alternatively place in a dehydrator on 115°F to help soften.

Just before serving, using a fork, mash the avocado in a bowl and mix in the asparagus, ensuring each  is heavily coated.

Lemon Basil Pesto

  • 1/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Pinch salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender.

Assemble asparagus on a plate and drizzle over the Lemon Pesto. Or if you’re feeling fancy and want some dizzle dazzle, place pesto in a piping bag and draw a squiggle, zig zag or a Banksy masterpiece, placing the asparagus on top – whatever works for you!


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Charlie L October 1, 2010 at 9:35 am

The top picture is certainly my favourite.


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