Grilled Asparagus with Parsley Lemon Pesto

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Spring is asparagus season. Although available year round, it tastes best at this time of year — and it’s at its best price. All it really needs is a little sprinkle of olive oil and lemon pepper to be truly delicious. But for a change of pace, try this lighter version of pesto – it’s a sure crowd pleaser!

(Makes 3-4 servings — about 1/3 cup pesto)

1 bunch fresh asparagus (about 15-20 spears)
1 cup parsley leaves, washed and dried
1 small garlic clove, crushed or minced
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup parmesan cheese

Wash and snap off ends of asparagus. Heat grill. Meanwhile, place parsley in a food processor or blender with the garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice and pulse until parley is finely chopped. Keep processor running and gradually add the olive oil; stir in parmesan cheese; salt and pepper to taste. Lightly brush asparagus with olive oil and place on grill rack and grill on medium heat, turning frequently, about 5 minutes or until they reach desired doneness. Arrange on a serving platter and serve with the pesto.

(Note: If asparagus spears are larger, before grilling, microwave for 1-2 minutes.)