July 19, 2012

Pea & Parsley Pesto


Pesto is a quintessential summer puree. It's bright in both flavor and color; something that just seems a little too cheery in the winter months. Summer is pesto's time to shine. Since summer is a time to play, it seemed reasonable to play with pesto, too.

I thought, why not reinvent pesto with what I have on hand? Then I re-purposed it a couple of times over, in two recipes I will share with you later. First I wanted to share this basic recipe. Note to self: pesto is not just for basil. It can include so many other ingredients, from nuts, to herbs, to cheese, and a variety of greens. I had a bunch of parsley on hand from my potato salad making. I had a bag of peas in the freezer. I had a bit of arugula left in the salad bad. No need to waste! They can all go into the processor for a creamy, flavorful pesto.

And they did. Use the easy technique (aka: everyone get into the food processor) to whip up a pesto of your imagination. Stir it into pastas, sauces, over fish and beef, or even into eggs. See? It's that versatile.

Summer is about being flexible and relaxed; dinner included.

Pea, Parsley (& Arugula) Pesto:
2 cloves garlic
sea or kosher salt
1 cup fresh parsley
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1 cup arugula
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
olive oil
1/4 a lemon, juiced and zest
more salt & pepper to taste

With the blade of the food processor running, drop in the garlic cloves and mince. Add a pinch of salt. Stop the processor, then add the parsley, peas, and arugula to the work bowl. Turn it back on, and pour in the parmesan cheese, then slowly pour in the oil until it begins to puree into a thick liquid. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest. Add more oil to thin out, if desired. Salt and pepper to taste.

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