Max has developed an aversion to meat. Lilly is three and has an aversion to…well…most things. Especially vegetables. This complicates dinnertime a bit.
Luckily, no one is averse to pasta. Ever. Pesto remains one of my go-to choices for the easy/healthy/kid-friendly trifecta. Blending some asparagus, a handful of baby spinach, a few cloves of garlic, parmesan, pine nuts and olive oil in the Vitamix has long been a favorite strategy for fight-free dinnertime veggie consumption. After figuring out that edamame is one of the few proteins that Max will eat, I started tossing some of those into the mix as well.
Behold — asparagus, spinach and edamame pesto. Toss with hot pasta, add a handful of steamed edamame and asparagus tips, and a sprinkle of grated parmesan and dinner is ready.
Asparagus, Spinach and Edamame Pesto Sauce
1 bunch asparagus spears (about 1 lb), trimmed and chopped into 2-inch pieces, tips reserved separately
3 handfuls baby spinach leaves
1 cup shelled edamame, divided
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water
Salt & pepper to taste
1 lb. Spaghetti
Additional parmesan cheese, salt & pepper for garnish
- Combine asparagus stems (reserve tips for garnish), spinach, 1/2 cup edamame, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan lemon juice, olive oil and water in a blender.
- Cover securely and blend until mixture in smooth. Add additional water as needed to achieve the consistency of a thick sauce. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to use. (Pesto may be covered tightly and refrigerated for 24 hours or frozen for up to 2 months).
- Prepare spaghetti according to package directions. Add reserved asparagus tips and edamame to boiling water during the lasts 4 minutes of cooking. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
- Drain pasta and veggies and add pesto sauce. Toss to combine, adding some of the pasta cooking water if needed to achieve a smooth consistency.
- Garnish with additional parmesan cheese, salt & pepper to serve.