by Mara @ What's For Dinner? on March 21, 2011

in fish or seafood, Italian, shrimp, simple recipe, vegetables, vegetarian

Spring is, quite possibly, my favorite time of year. Besides the longer days, warmer weather, and everyone’s general better mood, the produce is just fantastic.

After months and months of potatoes, hard squashes, root vegetables, and other things that grow underground, Spring brings about things that are green. Not just green, but that delicious bright green that only comes when plants get their first breaths of warmer air.

Brussels sprouts are abundant, asparagus go through phases from skinny and tender to giant and meaty, and my brain starts going crazy with possibilities for delicious recipes. And this is how you benefit from my loving Spring!


So I made risotto. Or rather, Carnaroli, with the remaining rice my sister brought us from Italy. I followed a very simple technique of “gradually add chicken broth to a pot of hot raw rice until it starts to look like risotto”. It was pretty much the same recipe I’ve used before. And I stirred in cooked shrimp. And topped it with some of these babies, sliced and sauteed


And some mushrooms. And about an ounce of grated parmegiano reggiano.

But you might have noticed, my risotto is green. Didn’t notice? Look closer


The real star here was this beautiful bright green deliciousness


I’m calling it Peasto.

Pea Pesto. It’s just as beautiful to eat as it is to look at. It’s that perfect spring green, it’s fresh and slightly sweet, and has that richness that only pesto can have. But, since it’s mostly peas, the usual decadence that is pesto is significantly cut without sacrificing flavor.

While I’ve made Betsy’s broccoli pesto before, and this one is kind of similar in that it’s pesto cut with a green veggie, Peasto is also very different. It’s sweeter. It’s lighter. It wears a cape and carries the lasso of truth! I kid, I kid…sort of.


Makes 12 servings


  • 1 10-ounce bag frozen peas, thawed in the microwave for 4 minutes
  • 2 oz. hard Parmesan cheese
  • 15-20 basil leaves
  • 4 oz. toasted chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic (may reduce this)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


Place the nuts, basil, garlic, and parmesan into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture looks like coarse wet sand. Add the peas and pulse again until well-combined. Then, with the food processor in the “on” position, slowly drizzle the olive oil into the mixture until a smooth paste forms. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve on your favorite pasta, risotto, or spoon.


And, the nutrition for both the risotto and the Peasto are reasonable, if of course, you can stick to one (or two) servings.



The risotto stats are on the left, Peasto on the right; risotto is for a 1 cup serving, Peasto is for 2 heaping tablespoons.

Spring is springing!!



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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

VeggieGirl March 21, 2011 at 9:31 PM

VeggieGirl´s last blog post ..The Moment of Truth- Brief Follow-Up


Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 21, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Peasto! I love it!! :D
Julie @ Willow Bird Baking´s last blog post ..Three Safe-to-Eat Cookie Doughs- Chocolate Chip- Sugar- and Cake Batter!


Blog is the New Black March 22, 2011 at 4:52 AM

Love your vibrant pics! This looks so great- LOVE pesto!
Blog is the New Black´s last blog post ..Tortellini Vegetable Soup


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is March 22, 2011 at 5:42 AM

That risotto is so pretty!!
Jessica @ How Sweet It Is´s last blog post ..Oh Yes I Did


Lauren March 22, 2011 at 5:51 AM

This looks AMAZING!!!! I have always wanted to make pesto from peas.
Lauren´s last blog post ..Body By Design Review and Giveaway


brandi March 22, 2011 at 7:56 AM

I LOVE pea pesto! I made some last year with some peas from our garden – so sweet and delicious!


Roz March 22, 2011 at 10:29 AM

OH my yum!!! BOOKMARKED!!!! I may well be a copycat sometime in the near future and make this. (and I’m already thinking of a couple of different things to do with that pea pesto!) Thanks for the great recipe Mara. Have ag ood day.
Roz´s last blog post ..My steaming mojo…


Laura March 22, 2011 at 11:49 AM

What a fun springy dish! That sounds so good!
Laura´s last blog post ..Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream


natalie (the sweets life) March 22, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Mara this is brilliant! How do you think it would taste as a pizza sauce?
natalie (the sweets life)´s last blog post ..Best of 2011- Sweet Potato Butter


Salah@myhealthiestlifestyle March 22, 2011 at 12:10 PM

that pea-sto looks amazing!!!
Salah@myhealthiestlifestyle´s last blog post ..Howard Cole


Christine (The Raw Project) March 22, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Beautiful risotto and the pea-sto looks divine!


Christina March 22, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Yay for spring! I agree – love the spring veggies. Such a breath of fresh air after all the winter and fall veggies.

I love your peasto! I need to try this, have a bag of frozen peas in the freezer now!
Christina´s last blog post ..PFP Week 10 Update


Rebecca March 23, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Did you calculate the pointsplus for this meal? It looks tasty and I would like to try it.


Melissa @ TryingToHeal March 23, 2011 at 11:13 PM

oh man, now i want pesto and risotto. actually , i’ve never had risotto so it would be a first!
Melissa @ TryingToHeal´s last blog post ..Oops- I Did It Again…


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