Asparagus Pesto Recipe
INSPIRED BY PERU
Peru ranks as one of the world's largest producers of asparagus. Through irrigation methods, farmers are able to grow the stalk year-round and the plants are productive for 15 to 20 years. Half of their crops are green asparagus; the other half are white.
Asparagus is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean area. Today, the majority of the asparagus produced in Peru is sent to Europe, making the history and production of asparagus a complete circle.
SAVE FOR LATER
Makes 2 cups
1/3 cup shelled pistachios
3 cups 1-inch asparagus pieces (about 3/4 lb asparagus stalks)
1/2 cup diced sweet onion
3 tablespoons ricotta cheese
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor. Blend until the desired consistency forms.
If using a mortar and pestle, crush the pistachios until a fine crumb forms. Add the asparagus and onion, and mash until smooth. Mix in the remaining ingredients. Mash until the desired consistency forms.
Store pesto in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for up to one week. Use throughout the week in the next two recipes. Pesto can last in an airtight container in the freezer for up to six months.
Quinoa originated in the Andean region in and around Peru. As a protein-rich ancient grain in a nation where meat is sometimes scarce, it's a staple both on plates and in a traditional bowl of soup.
Choclo is a variety of corn grown in the Andean Mountains of Peru. It's sweet and made of large grains. It's common to find it topped with cheese and sold as street food in Peru.