Grilled Asparagus Plate with Cilantro Pepita Pesto – A Very Merry Grilled Christmas!

It's that time of year again - the weather is a little crisper, the leaves are gone, everything smells like peppermint and candy canes, and the grill is still hot and ready! It's a very merry grilled Christmas at Summerset, and we have the holiday dishes to set your table during this jolly time of year. Grilled Asparagus Plate with Cilantro Pepita Pesto is a beautiful side dish, full of earthy flavor and texture, and it's green to match. This dish is healthy, easy to make, festive, and will take only ten minutes to cook; and can be easily assembled for any holiday gathering.

The bright green pesto is made with cilantro, toasted pepitas, olive oil, lime, garlic, salt, and chipotle powder. Pepitas are pumpkin seeds that have been removed from the shell and then toasted. They have a delicious, nutty flavor and make a great addition to the pesto. Toss asparagus in olive oil, salt, pepper, and grill over medium heat until cooked and charred. Plate the asparagus on a generous smudge of pesto garnished with minced red onion and more toasted pepitas for texture.

Bold, fragrant, and festive, Grilled Asparagus Plate with Cilantro Pepita Pesto is the perfect side dish for your Christmas Day gathering. Bring loved ones and friends together with good food and great company, and enjoy the warm start to winter while it lasts. From all of us at Summerset, we wish you a very merry grilled Christmas!

Serves 4

Grilled Asparagus Plate with Cilantro Pepita Pesto Ingredients

  • 1 bunch asparagus, about 1 1/2 lbs. (medium thickness stalks)
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely minced red onion
  • 1/4 cup toasted pepitas

Cilantro Pepita Pesto

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup toasted pepitas
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 jalapeno (mostly seeded. you want a few for heat)
  • 1/4 tsp. chipotle powder, to taste
  • one large bunch (about 4 super packed cups) cilantro, ends cut, the stem is fine
  • juice of two large limes
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • splash of water

Grilled Asparagus Plate with Cilantro Pepita Pesto Directions

  1. Heat your grill, or indoor grill, over medium heat.
  2. Cut off the dry bits of the asparagus and use a vegetable peeler to shave the end stalks gently. Toss the asparagus in the olive oil and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Grill the asparagus, covered, turning a few times, for about 7-9 minutes. Time will vary based on the thickness of the stalks. I like mine on the snappy side.
  3. To make the pesto, pulse the garlic, toasted pepitas, and sea salt in a food processor to chop. Add the jalapeno, chipotle, cilantro, and lime juice and run the processor to combine. Drizzle in the olive oil with the motor running and a splash of water. Taste and adjust as you wish. Add more chipotle for heat, citrus juice, and salt to brighten it; water if you prefer it thinner.
  4. Serve the asparagus on a generous pillow of the cilantro pesto. Garnish with the minced red onion and toasted pepitas. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Taken from