July 7, 2013 by Meg G.
Wait till you get a load of this pesto. You’ll never believe that frozen peas are the base of this summery masterpiece. Just add a few leaves of fresh mint, a bit of garlic, a healthy squeeze of lemon, and some pine nuts and ta-da! You’ve got a delicious and totally surprising pesto. Here goes!
Sugar Snap Peas with Minty Pea Pesto – via Flying Fourchette
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3 fresh mint leaves
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- Grated zest of ½ lemon
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb sugar snap peas, trimmed and washed
- 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for garnish
- optional: about 1/2 lb pasta of your choice (we used half a box of elbows)
- Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 325°F. Place the pine nuts in a small ovenproof pan and toast for 5 minutes, or until light brown. Transfer to a small bowl and allow to cool, then chop 1 tablespoon of the pine nuts. Set the chopped and whole pine nuts aside.
- Prepare an ice bath. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the frozen peas and cook for 1 minute, or until tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peas to the ice bath (keep the water boiling). Use the slotted spoon to transfer the peas from the ice bath to a food processor (reserve the ice bath).
- To the food processor, add the mint, garlic, lemon zest, the 2 tablespoons whole pine nuts, the ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup water, and salt and pepper to taste. Process until well combined but not completely smooth. Adjust the seasonings and reserve.
- Add the snap peas to the boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to the ice bath.
- If using, add pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions.
- Drain the snap peas and place in a medium bowl with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the Parmigiano-Reggiano, and the reserved chopped pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spread 1/4 of the pesto onto each of 4 plates and then top with snap pea mixture. OR serve pasta topped with pesto and snap pea mixture. Garnish with additional grated cheese.
I love that the water is used and reused throughout the cooking process. Only having one burner going is a total plus on these hot summer days!
This pesto is minty and these peas are snappy! A lovely combination.
Serve this sans-pasta for a very green first course. Or, pack a mini-sized portion with you for a lunch side. Or serve it up with a side salad as the main event. Whatever works for you, works for this dish!