We briefly blanched and cooled the asparagus spears, chopped them up, and whizzed them in a blender with zesty ingredients like onions, garlic, jalapeño, and lime. (Keep the jalapeño seeds if you like it spicy, or remove them for a milder sauce. We used about half.) The flavor is bright and has the sweet grassiness of asparagus but we suspect one might be able to feed it to vegetable-averse eaters and they'd enjoy it just as much as asparagus lovers.
1 pound asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed or snapped off
1/2 white onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 jalapeño chile, cored and seeded, or to taste
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican) (optional)
Pinch of salt
Blanch the asparagus: Have ready a bowl of ice water. Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat. Add a tablespoon of salt and the asparagus and boil just until tender and bright green, about 1-2 minutes depending on the thickness of the spears. Remove the asparagus spears with tongs or a slotted spoon and plunge them into the ice bath to cool.
Remove the cooled asparagus spears from the water, pat dry, and chop into 1-inch pieces. Place in a blender along with the other ingredients and purée until smooth. If mixture seems too thick, stir down with a spoon, add 1-2 teaspoons of water, and blend. Repeat if necessary.
Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.
Serve with tortilla chips or as a garnish for tacos, burritos, tostadas, etc.
Recipe inspired by Guerra's Gourmet of Sunnyside, Wash.
(Images: Emily Ho)