Here’s a neat idea: Make pesto with roasted asparagus in addition to, or instead of, basil or other fresh herbs. Just roast the asparagus at 400 degrees until browned, maybe 20 minutes or so. Chop the stalks, reserving the asparagus tips. Puree the stalks in the food processor with a few tablespoons of olive oil, as much Parmesan as you like, a handful of toasted almonds, salt and pepper. Really nice on pasta garnished with the asparagus tips, some roasted grape tomatoes and a sprinkling of almonds. I also tried the leftover pesto as a spread for a cheese sandwich, and it was pretty tasty.
Here’s what I know about toasting almonds and other nuts. You can either toast them in a dry skillet on the stovetop over medium heat or spread on a cookie sheet in the oven. As long as you watch the nuts and keep stirring them, they will not toast. But the second you turn your back and do something else, that’s when they’ll burn.