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!!