Petit peas are my absolute favorite veggie from the freezer section at the grocery store. They are also my son’s favorite vegetable, the only one he eats without complaining about it. I love them because they are sweet and tasty, cook quickly, and the color heightens just about any meal!
I really love them fresh, but frozen provides a great alternative since the growing season is so short. Tonight I’m combining them with a spring greens pesto I made from the last of the greens in my garden. I have arugula and mustard, and clipped a few baby leaves of mint that have been peeking out from under the pine straw.
To make this dish, just steam your frozen peas in a saucepan with a little water in it on your stovetop. Or, steam them in the microwave, just until no longer frozen and heated through. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
For the pesto, just place whatever greens you have available in the bowl of a food processor. I had only about one cup of fresh greens. You could use fresh or frozen spinach, basil, bagged arugula or a baby chard, kale and mustard mix from the store. If using frozen spinach, make sure you thaw it and squeeze the liquid out first.
Throw in a peeled clove of garlic or two, a squeeze of honey and fresh lemon juice and a little lemon zest, salt, pepper. I was out of parmesan cheese and pine nuts, so I left the cheese out and toasted a couple of tablespoons of pecans and added those to the food processor. Pulse and whir until you get the consistency you want. I like a few small chunks of nut in mine.
Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. I added my mint at the end and pulsed again, then kept tasting until it was just minty enough for me, but not overpowering.
Lastly, add a dollop of the pesto to your bowl of peas. I don’t stir it in as I have picky eaters and it gives them the option of avoiding the pesto when taking their serving. I garnished my dish with a mustard flower and fresh arugula.
If you like pesto with cheese, add some parmesan or stir in some feta after it has been made.
For a vegan version, leave out cheese and the honey.
For a nut-free alternative you could toast a couple of tablespoons of garbanzo bean flour in a warm pan and use it as a nut substitute.