Asparagus and Herb Pesto

1 lb. asparagus, tough ends trimmed, spears cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 cups basil leaves, loosely packed
1 cup Italian parsley sprigs, loosely packed
5 cloves garlic (or more, to taste)
1/3 cup water or vegetable stock
1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 t. lemon pepper or white pepper
2/3 cup olive oil

Place the asparagus spears in a steamer basket and steam for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Remove the asparagus from the steamer basket and set aside to cool. In a food processor, place the pine nuts, and process for 1 minute to finely chop them. Add the steamed asparagus and process for 1 minute to form a chunky puree. Add the basil, parsley, and garlic, and pulse a few times to roughly chop the herbs. Add the water, nutritional yeast flakes, salt, and lemon pepper, and process for 1-2 minutes to form a smooth puree. While the machine is running, drizzle in the olive oil, and continue to process the mixture for 1 additional minute. Transfer the pesto to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Use as a sauce for pasta, vegetables, or grains, or to add flavor to sauces, dressings, or side dishes, or as a sandwich spread.

Yield: 3 cups


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The Vegan Chef
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