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Grilled Asparagus with Spinach Pesto and Charred Citrus


  • 1 lb of The Chef’s Garden Asparagus

  • Vegetable or Peanut Oil, for dressing (approximately 2 tbsp)

  • 2 Lemons, Meyer if available

  • 1/2 Orange

  • Honey or Granulated Sugar (small amounts as needed) Optional

  • ½ lb Root Spinach, Washed and Blanched

  • 4 whole garlic bulbs, peeled

  • 2oz almonds, cashews, pinenuts, pistachios, or any other available nuts.

  • 3/4 cup olive oil

  • ½ tbsp salt, add more to taste

  • ½ tsp fresh-ground black pepper


  • Prepare the pesto by combining all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor and pulsing until the ingredients are well combined. Add olive oil if necessary so that the pesto is just fluid and can easily be spooned over the asparagus later. Adjust the seasoning until it is to your liking before reserving the pesto at room temperature if using within a couple of hours, or transferring to the fridge if making well in advance.

  • Prepare the Asparagus by grabbing the stalks in the middle and on their butt ends. Bend the butt of the asparagus away from the rest of the vegetable until it snaps at its natural breaking point. This will be the point at which the asparagus stalk becomes tender. If desired, you can use a knife to trim the bottom of the asparagus stalks to give them a cleaner aesthetic.

  • Using a paring knife, gently peel back and remove the triangular leaves from the asparagus so that you can rinse away any soil that may be hidden from sight.

  • After rinsing the asparagus, pat it dry before dressing it lightly in vegetable or peanut oil.

  • Split the lemons in half in preparation for the grill.

  • For a deeply charred crust and slightly sweeter juice you can dip the cut ends of orange and lemon in granulated sugar or brush them with honey before transferring them cut side down to a grill set over hot coals or high flame.

  • Once the lemons are grilling and sizzling away, transfer the asparagus to the grill.

  • Cook the asparagus until it is to your liking. We recommend al denté, or with a bit of tender snap in the middle so that it is pleasant to both eat and pierce with a fork.

  • When the asparagus is cooked, remove it from the grill and transfer it to a serving platter before spooning over some of the spinach pesto and seasoning to taste with salt. Serve with the charred citrus.

  • Just before consuming, squeeze the citrus to disperse juice over the platter or encourage your guests to do so as they desire.

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