Frozen Pea and Walnut Pesto is a quick and easy spread or side that works with pretty much any entree or appetizer.
Perched on a chair in the tiny kitchen of her 7th floor Bucharest apartment, my grandmother Lina showed me how to carefully remove peas out of their pods. It was a tiny kitchen, barely big enough to fit a table and still have walking room between it and the counter. But there we were, my apron-wearing grandmother and me having an average day peeling peas and making stew.
My grandmother was a beautiful woman. High cheekbones, dark hair and intense brown eyes, which she most often hid behind big sunglasses. She was stylish and put together even when at home. A woman of few words, she held a certain mystery that as a young girl, I wouldn't know to appreciate.
When spending days with her, most of the time I would be roaming around snooping through her cosmetics, smothering my face in various creams and getting myself into the usual kid trouble. But on this day she felt it was better if I just assisted her in the kitchen and stayed put. So there I was, dropping one pea after another into a large yellow bowl, contemplating making my escape so I could go back to playing. But she insisted I help her make stew. She taught me how to properly hold a knife, how to chop fresh herbs and carrots. A seemingly insignificant day is one that's stayed with me.
Though I have many pea recipes under my belt, several years ago I made pea pesto for the first time. It was delicious and surprising as I never thought of making pesto out of peas. But it was also loaded with parmesan cheese so I wanted to find an alternative. My version uses walnuts instead, providing the creaminess you'd expect from pesto but with none of the dairy. It's versatile and quick to make and can easily transform any dish.
About This Quick Frozen Pea And Walnut Pesto Spread
- Simple to make
- Creamy and delicious
- Perfect for spring or summer recipes
Ingredients For Frozen Pea And Walnut Pesto
You could certainly use fresh but I like using frozen as they're always available and easy to find. I just throw them in boiling water for a few minutes and done. Alternatively, you could even run them under hot water until they're full thawed out.
Basil gives this recipe all it's flavor and adds a bright and light fragrance to it as well.
Make sure you're using raw and not toasted as you really want the creaminess from the walnuts to incorporate with the peas. Toasted would work as well, but I find the pesto to be creamer when raw as we're not using any cheese.
If you don't have garlic, you don't have flavor. Truly this recipe needs fresh garlic. Try not to use any jarred minced garlic, as you're going to get a different flavor. If possible, stick with raw!
Extra Virting olive oil
A fruity nice Extra Virgin Olive Oil that you would use in salads will be ideal for this pesto as it will add nice richness and body.
And of course, let's not forget the salt! Any salt works, but I prefer fine sea salt.
Equipment For Making Frozen Pea and Walnut Pesto
The only equipment needed for this pesto is just a food processor. Alternatively, you could use a high-power blender to achieve the same results.
Making Frozen Pea and Walnut Pesto
Step 1. Combine peas with 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Strain the peas and add to the food processor along with other ingredients and puree until all ingredients are combined.
Step 2. Serve right away or store in the refrigerator in air tight container for up to a week.
FAQs + Top Tips
Should You Boil Frozen Peas First?
You could if you wanted to, but I take the easy route and just defrost them under hot running water for a few minutes. You could also dump them in a bowl of hot water and let them defrost.
Can You Use Fresh Peas For This Recipe?
Absolutely! You would just need to steam them until soft and ensure they're properly drained. You can steam fresh peas for 2-4 minutes until soft.
Should The Walnuts Be Raw Or Toasted?
While I love toasted walnuts, for this recipe, we want to use raw walnuts as you want the creamy consistency that raw walnuts have to offer.
Do You Have To Use Fresh Basil?
For this recipe you really do. If you don't like basil, you could try mint, fresh oregano, parsley or cilantro.
More Recipes You Might Like:
- 5 Ingredient Chipotle Mayo (Paleo, Whole 30, Vegetarian)
- Easy Fermented Vegetables With Just Salt And Water
- Crispy Roasted Chickpeas (Vegan, Grain-Free)
- 1 bag frozen peas
- 2 rounded tablespoon chopped basil
- 3 tablespoon rounded walnuts
- 1 peeled clove garlic
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
1. Combine peas with 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Strain the peas and add to the food processor along with other ingredients and puree until all ingredients are combined.
2. Serve right away or store in the refrigerator in air tight container for up to a week.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 93Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 205mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g