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Pea Pesto (Vegan)

This super simple pesto is slightly sweet and utterly uplifting, especially when you’re craving spring. Toss it with pasta, spread it on grilled bread or crostini (it’s great with goat cheese), spoon it over salmon or chicken, or dip crackers into it for a snack. If you’re tossing the pesto with pasta (it makes more than enough for 1 pound of pasta), blanch the peas in the same water you’ll use to cook the noodles (transfer the peas to a bowl of ice water, then cook your pasta in the same pot)—this saves you a bit of clean-up and even adds some nutrients to your pasta. You wouldn’t know this pesto was vegan, but you can certainly add some grated Parmigiano when blending, or top your bowls of pasta with crumbled goat cheese, if you so desire.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 mins
Total Time12 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pea and mint pesto, pea pesto, pea pesto crostini, pea pesto pasta
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cups fresh or frozen sweet peas (1 10-ounce bag frozen peas)
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, and season with salt.  Fill a bowl with ice water.  Cook the peas in the boiling water until bright green and tender, about 2-3 minutes.  Transfer to the bowl of ice water to cool (this will preserve their color).  Drain.


  • In a food processor with the motor running (or you can use a Vitamix), drop the garlic clove through the feed tube and finely chop. Add the peas, mint, pine nuts and lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Process to a paste. Scrape down the sides. With the machine running, drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and/or lemon juice, if needed.

Notes

Do Ahead: The pesto can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Tips:
  • You can make the pesto in a food processor or Vitamix.
  • Boiling the peas then shocking them in ice water preserves their bright green color. If you want to omit this step, you can simply defrost the peas at room temperature!
  • This pesto is naturally vegan, but you can add grated parmesan cheese, if you prefer.
  • You can swap out the fresh mint for basil.
  • Serve the pesto on Maple Roasted Salmon, chicken, grain bowls, pizza or crostini. It also makes for a lovely dip with crackers!