Friday, September 21, 2012

Easy Peasy Pesto

Now why is this so easy peasy?  Because it is made of peas!   I have so much trouble growing basil that I have completely given up.  The bunnies and the bugs always make a tasty snack out of my succulent basil leaves before I get a chance to snip them.  So now I buy basil only when I need it at the grocery store.  And it is pricey!  Three bucks for one and a half cups!  This recipe takes one and a half cups of basil into stretches it into three cups of pesto with the addition of frozen sweet peas. 


16 oz frozen peas                     .98
1 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves    2.98
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese         .48
1 large clove of garlic              .05
1 lemon                                    .25
1/4 cup olive oil                       .40
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper


In a small sauce pan add the whole bag of frozen peas and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and boil 3 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process.
Meanwhile roughly chop 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves.
Gorgeous color huh?  This would be great for a non traditional St. Patrick's Day dinner.  In a food processor or a blender add the peas, basil, salt, pepper, 1/4 C Parmesan cheese and lemon juice.  If you can't find a juicy lemon you could substitute 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar as the acid component.
Start up the blender on low and stream in 1/4 C of olive oil.  I'm not sure how well this comes together with a food processor, but in the blender you will need to stop and stir occasionally until all the basil and peas are smooth.
Don't give up!  Keep stopping, stirring and restarting until you have a silky green pesto.  Then using a scraper scoop all the green goodness into thee one cup containers.  You could also use a sandwich bag if you choose. 
Label and freeze.  Thaw for two days in the fridge before using. 
This is delicious on pasta!  My toddler just eats this up.  It has a great zing of basil flavor, yet a sweet creaminess from the peas. 
You could also spread this on crackers or toasted bread for great canapes. 
This is a great side dish and vegetarian option.  If you add a few grilled vegetables or sliced chicken you could have a whole meal. 

I was able to make three cups of Easy Peasy Pesto for $1.71 each. 

Christie aka Keeza