Introduction: Pea Pesto (with Vegan Option!)
When I asked my housemates what I should make for dinner a few weeks ago they pointed me towards this recipe from the Smitten Kitchen blog for pea pesto since for some reason we had a bunch of frozen peas that needed to be used. I was skeptical at first since I grew up making pesto from basil straight from my garden and was doubtful that a pesto made from frozen peas could be anywhere near as good, but this recipe actually pleasantly surprised me with its deliciousness!
It's really simple and you probably have all the tools and ingredients you need. I even made a vegan batch for a friend who was visiting and you can barely taste the difference!
Step 1: Ingredients
For this recipe, I used:
-2 cups of frozen peas (one cup in the pesto, one cup added to the noodles afterwards)
-1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (for the vegan option, I substituted a big sprinkle of salt and about a tablespoon of olive oil)
-1 clove of garlic, chopped
-1/4 roasted walnuts (the original recipe uses pine nuts, but they are expensive and I already had walnuts so I used those instead)
-1/3 cup olive oil
-1/4 tsp salt
Step 2: Cook the Peas
When making this recipe, I realized that I had never actually cooked peas myself so I decided to follow the instructions on the original recipe since the author really knows peas. It actually made a huge difference in the way the peas came out and I will never cook them any other way!
Put some lightly salted water in a pot and while you're waiting for it to boil, prepare an ice bath for your peas. I know, I know, but I swear, it makes a huge difference! For the ice bath, just put some cold water and ice in a bowl and but leave enough room for your peas so no water will spill out!
Once the water on the stove is boiling, add your peas and cook them for 2 minutes. Then take them off the stove, strain them and put them in the ice bath to stop the cooking process. I put mine in a sieve and just put that in the ice bath which makes it really easy to drain them again for the next step!
Step 3: Blend It Up!
Put a cup of peas and the rest of the ingredients in your food processor and blend it up until it's as smooth as you want it! Hold out the other cup of peas to add to the noodle afterwards!
Step 4: Enjoy!
The original recipe recommends adding a few cups of water to evenly distribute the pesto throughout the noodles, but I prefer to let people put the amount of pesto that they want on their own noodles. I finished it off with the rest of the peas, more parmesan cheese, and some slow roasted tomatoes. It was surprisingly delicious and easy to make! It would probably be great on sandwiches or even a dip!