Friday, May 28, 2010

Minty Peas, Please

Thanks to some inspiration from a fellow blogger, I made pesto for dinner last night.  Instead of a traditional basil-based pesto, I decided to try a pea and mint pesto.  I'm glad I did. The pesto was bright and fresh and we served it over fusilli pasta.  Here are two of the star ingredients:

Green Goddess Pesto
  • 16 oz petite green peas (I used frozen, but I'm sure it would be great if you have access to fresh peas and shell them yourself)
  • fresh mint (I didn't measure, but use a good and plentiful handful from the bunch)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 clove garlic (I LOVE garlic, but this little amount does the trick because it's raw)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • lemon (for zest)
1.  Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan frequently to avoid burning.  When the nuts are brown and fragrant, turn off heat and transfer nuts to a plate to cool.
2.  Blanch the peas in boiling water for about 4-5 minutes.  Drain peas, setting aside a 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
3.  In a food processor or blender (I prefer food processor for this job), chop the garlic.
4.  Add the pine nuts (but reserve some whole to use as garnish), peas and mint.  Pulse to mix all ingredients.
5.  Add cheese, salt and pepper to taste.  With the food processor running. slowly add olive oil.  If you find the pesto is too thick and dry, you can add a little of the cooking water from the peas.  It should start looking like this:

6.  Give it a taste and adjust the seasonings. 
7.  Serve the pesto over pasta.  If you like it really hot, toss the pasta in a skillet with the pesto over low heat before serving.
8.  After plating, add more grated cheese, a sprinkling of pine nuts and a touch of lemon zest if you like.  (In my house, Hub likes the zest, but I don't really care for it)
9.  Enjoy!


Kitty said...

look at that GREEN! Beautiful!

urban muser said...

Kate: Thanks for the inspiration!