Pea, mint, and almond pesto
Inspired by a Pea and Ricotta ravioli appetizer I had at Picco in the South End, I wanted to make a healthier version for my wife, since she wasn’t able to join me for dinner. A few months ago, we started a apartment-herb-garden on our fire escape, and one of our most successful herbs to-date has been mint. It was exciting to use the product of our first ‘harvest’ in this recipe. By using almond slivers (inspired by our new go-to book, The Flavor Bible), it complements the peas in the pesto with a slight crunchy, nutty texture instead of the traditional pine nuts.
Pea, mint, and almond pesto Recipe
Published: May 18, 2012
- Yield: 3 cups
- Prep: 10 mins
- Cook: 20 mins
- Ready In: 30 mins
Inspired by a Pea and Ricotta ravioli appetizer I had at Picco in the South End, I wanted to make a healthier version for my wife, …
- 2 medium onions
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2.5 cups peas frozen (about one 10 oz bag)
- 1/4 cup mint fresh, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 large leaves fresh basil chopped
- 3 tablespoons almond slivers
- 1/4 cup milk optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large saucepan, saute the chopped onions in the olive oil with salt and pepper to taste. As it browns (after 5 minutes), make some space for the minced garlic and roast in the same pan. Be careful to not over do this (an additional 3 to 4 minutes).
- In a small saucepan, boil about 1/4″ water with a pinch of salt. As soon as it comes to a boil, put the frozen peas in for a few minutes. Test to see if the peas are edible, if so, drain and set aside.
- While the peas are boiling, heat a small skillet and roast the almond slivers for just a minute or two until they just start to brown. We’re trying to just barely brown them, not fully toast them (over doing this step will cause the pesto to have a bit of a toasted taste, which doesn’t seem to go as well with the peas).
- Combine all of the above, with the chopped mint and basil in the food processor. Process in spurts, and continue to test the consistency and taste. Depending on how much water was drained from the peas, you may want to add a tablespoon or two of water, to help puree.
- All done! At this point, you can use this as a very healthy spread for a great twist on bruschetta, dip for crackers, or in your next veggie burger (pictured below). If tossing with pasta, add the milk, and process further to create a pesto-cream sauce (seen above) and toss with your favorite pasta.