Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pesto Is Not Just Basil!

Readers may remember a recent post about my basil pesto addiction.  Though I knew that pesto can be made without basil, I never took seriously what I considered to be limp imitations.  However, though I may have some rigid propensities, thankfully my practical nature won out. Our heavy green pea harvest helped expand my culinary boundaries by inspiring me to make a fresh pea pesto. It is good, good, good!  While a basil pesto captures the sumptuousness of summer, the fresh pea version owns the very nature of spring with its vibrantly green colour and bright taste.

Tagliatelle & Fresh Pea Pesto

Think of the peas as subbing for both the basil and walnuts/pine nuts.  Add olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan.  C'est tout!

For two cups of pesto, gather 4 T of extra virgin olive oil, 1.5 cups* of lightly cooked, fresh peas, 1/2 cup* of grated Parmesan, 1/2 tsp salt, and 2-3 cloves of garlic. 
*American unit measure, that is, 8 oz

A crucial aspect, however, is not only that the peas be fresh, but that they are barely cooked. Put a pot of water on the boil. Shell and rinse the peas. Add the peas to the boiling water.  Remain by the pot and after thirty seconds test some peas which should have no raw taste and are bursting with flavour.

Drain and place them under running cold water to halt further cooking.

Put the cooked peas, grated Parmesan, olive oil, garlic, and salt in a mixing bowl.

If using a processor, blend all ingredients till mostly smooth. If using a stick mixer, garlic needs to be crushed/minced first.

Plop a nice amount onto pasta.

Mix the pesto into the pasta and add another dollop.

The Parmesan, fresh peas, garlic, and olive oil are perfect companions in this slightly sweet, flavoursome, and creamy pesto. Truly lovely stuff!

The atypical cool, rainy weather continues which means since I do not need to water, I have more time to catch up with other tasks like transplanting and weeding--and boy are there ever weeds because of all that moisture!

Pea bed is on the front left

Roses continue to delight in their unaccustomed drenching.

Ferdinand Pichard rose

Mystery rose with a glowing salmon pink colour, large quartered blooms, and clustering growth habit

As are the daisies.

And the potatoes.

Not to mention the red currants.

Dayo's recovery from his paw injury is still up and down.  We let him out for a few days and all seems well.

Dayo can see that the transplanted rhubarb appreciate their  new space

Then it is obvious that being outdoors is still a stress for his tender paw and back he goes into the house.

Dayo in the linen cupboard

À la prochaine!