Hello summer! Hello fresh flavours of happiness! Hello Pea and Mint Pesto!
In the UK & Ireland it’s the perfect time to scoop up some fresh peas. Nestled in their pods – like happy little families!
When the peas are young it’s hard to resist eating them straight off the plant. But when you can manage to hold back; their are greater treats ahead.
Elevate your fish & chips to another level – with a fresh pea puree. Blanche them for barely 2 minutes, pop on a hearty helping of butter. Pea & ham soup… All so fabulous! But I was hunting for something I could make and keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Or even freeze if I wanted to. It also had to be something that would work well with peas I’d maybe not used as quickly as I should. But that’s less of a worry now I have experienced what the somewhat grubby exteriors hide. Very little deterioration of the peas! Phew!
Pea and mint pesto was the first thing that came to mind! Mainly because I am such a huge fan of pea & mint puree… I was keen to find something with a bit more bite, multiple uses & a longer life. It took a bit of thinking through though… Should I blanche the peas? Or not blanche the peas…
Like any good social media addict would – I asked twitter for advice! It didn’t really clear tings up though. Lots of votes for blanching because of past experience with puree. But I REALLY wanted to avoided moving my pesto towards a puree… So I set upon creating two batches; so I would have the perfect result to share with you!
The two batches produced rather different results. Even though I only blanched the peas for a minute – the results were far to much like a puree for me. Lovely, but a puree none the less. However, when I used freshly podded peas, with no further processing; the peas maintained they’re bite. Meaning they made far better textured pesto. It also means if you want to add the pesto to your favourite pasta dish, the peas will cook gently when you stir the pea and mint pesto through. Perfect!
Laura Anne Bradley
Serves Serves 8 through pasta, or slightly less on toast.
10 minPrep Time
10 minTotal Time
- 2 Cups Freshly Podded Peas
- 1 Cup Cashew Nuts
- 1/4 Cup Diced Fresh Mint
- Approx 10tbspn Rapeseed Oil ( It's Broighter Gold in this house! But you're favourite oil of any kind would work )
- Approx 10tbsp Cold Water
- 1 Cup Grated Hard Cheese ( I used Coolea )
- Add your podded peas, cashew nuts, fresh mint, rapeseed oil & cold water to your blender. Pulse until mixture in short bursts, until the peas, and cashew nuts start to break up. Scrape down the sides of the blender and pulse again. Decide on your favoured consistency - and stop there.
- Remove the now well combined pesto from the blender; and place in a large bowl. Add cheese, and stir to combine.
- Enjoy on toast, as a dip or stirred through pasta!
Just a wee note to say…
Make an effort to use the most awesome of cheese. It really does make the difference! On this occasion I chose Coolea – a beautiful wax coated hard cheese, made by the Willems family in Coolea, Co Cork. It’s made from an old Dutch Gouda recipe; resulting in a slightly salty, incredibly moreish cheese – with stunning caramel notes. PERFECTION.
Breakfast for dinner. Dinner for breakfast. Lush.