Asparagus Arugula Pesto Cream Sauce

Last week, I shared a last minute meal on my Insta stories. I wasn’t planning on doing anything with it because it was one of those recipes I just threw together to used up whatever was left in my fridge; but my bestie Liz saw it and asked me to post so she could recreate it herself. I have zero measurements to share, but here it goes:

On Sunday I had bought swordfish and asparagus, so by Wednesday it had to get cooked. Unfortunately, when 7 PM rolled around, I realized I hadn’t done anything else in the way of meal planning and certainly wasn’t about to head out to the grocery store to pick up any additional ingredients. I had to work with what I had.

I always have a bunch of grains in the pantry – different types of rice, quinoa, cous cous, etc. I grabbed some of Trader Joe’s harvest grain blend and set it up in the rice cooker, assuming I would just roast or sauté the asparagus. But then something else took shape as I rummaged through my fridge. If I used up all the remaining ingredients that were on their last day of freshness, I could make a sauce!

HOT TIP: The longest part of this whole process is cooking the grain. It takes a total of 20 minutes (aka: not long). And even this “lengthy” step is entirely hands off if you use the rice cooker. The rest of this meal (sauce and fish) takes maybe 10 minutes.

I started by cooking the swordfish in my tried and true way: season the fish (this time I used lemon pepper, garlic powder, and dried dill), cook for one minute/side in a cast iron skillet with oil, put one pat of butter atop each piece of fish, and cook in a 425 oven for 6-8 minutes (depending on thickness of fish).

When the fish went into the oven is when I started working on my veggie/sauce. I saut̩ed one bunch of chopped asparagus Рeasy peasy. I found this funky purple haze variety Рnot only does it look cool, it has a nice mild flavor. Once the asparagus softened a bit, I added some leftover heavy cream. Then I tossed in some pesto. Then just a handful of shredded parmesan. Salt and pepper went in there too. I let the sauce start to bubble up and reduce. By the time the fish was done, so was the sauce. I removed it from the heat and folded in about 1/3 of a bag of baby arugula, which wilted into the sauce.

To plate: grains, topped with asparagus arugula sauce, topped with fish. Done!

I mostly love this meal because of how crazy easy it was to prepare…but somehow looks kinda fancy. For a sauce made with the random stuff left in my refrigerator, this had a lot of flavor. Heavy cream is maybe not the healthiest, but as long as you heavy up on the veggies and use a healthy grain, this isn’t too terrible for you.