We harvested the last of the spring peas today! So we had to make something delicious with them... This creamy pea pesto sauce was a perfect finale.
This pesto is protein packed with peas, hemp seeds and tofu. While we waited for the pasta to cook, we spread some pesto on bread and I have to say, it makes an amazing dip/spread. I will be making this again for party food.
This dish a pure taste of summer with ingredients picked fresh right from the garden. Heirloom Napoletano basil (the curly variety pictured) is my new favorite with soft tender subtly flavored leaves. Lemon and parsley are my secret ingredients for keeping pesto bright green, and they add to the layers of flavor.
This was the perfect lunch after working in the garden all morning. Love this season of abundance! What are you making from your gardens/local farms right now?
Recipe after the jump...
Creamy Pea Pesto Sauce
makes about 2 cups
2 cups fresh shelled peas
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup packed parsley leaves
1/2 cup extra firm tofu
3 tablespoons hemp seeds
juice of half of a lemon
1 small clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
pinch of pepperoncino flakes
1/4-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Steam peas for 3-5 minutes until bright green and tender. Run cooked peas under cold tap water to stop them from cooking further. Reserve 1/2 cup of peas for plating. In a food processor pulse remaining 1 1/2 cups peas along with all of the other ingredients aside from the olive oil until mixture is roughly chopped. Then with food processor running, drizzle in olive oil until pesto comes together and is smooth and creamy.
Pesto sauce is now ready to refrigerate or use.
Use as a pasta sauce: This recipe will dress 1lb of pasta. Cook pasta al dente in salted water. Reserve 2 cups of pasta water. Place pesto into a large bowl and add enough pasta water to loosen it up and create a very loose and runny sauce. Don't worry the pasta will absorb the liquid. I add 1 cup of pasta water to start and then add more if it needs. Toss pasta and sauce together until pasta in evenly coated. Transfer pasta to a serving platter. Garnish with reserved peas, fresh basil leaves and a sprinkling of hemp seeds and pepperoncino flakes.
This pesto is great as a dip or spread for hors d'oeuvres. It's also scrumptious on sandwiches and panini. It will keep refrigerated for up to 1 week and should stay relatively bright green thanks to the lemon juice and parsley.