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Condiments

Pea and Walnut Pesto

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 pea pesto, basi and walnuts

 pea pesto basil and walnuts

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. 

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • cooking time: 5 minutes

  • yields: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 bag frozen peas

  • 2 tbsp fresh basil

  • 3 tbsp raw walnuts

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp salt

Equipment

  • mood processor

  • medium pot

Directions

Combine peas with 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Strain the peas and add to food processor along with other ingredients and puree until all ingredients are combined. 

Serve right away or store in refrigerator in air tight container for up to a week. 

print recipe

pea and walnut pesto
Ingredients
  • 1 bag frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil
  • 3 tbsp raw walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Instructions
1. Combine peas with 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Strain the peas and add to food processor along with other ingredients and puree until all ingredients are combined. 2. Serve right away or store in refrigerator in air tight container for up to a week.
Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4-6

Yum

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Carol Little R.H. @studiobotanica
    February 13, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    I love pesto! I love the texture — the tastes — the versatility! Thanks for sharing the sweet story of your grandmother Lina!
    Peas and pesto? This spring — will be a new one for me! I make SO many pestos and have not used peas so this will no doubt be another favourite!

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      February 14, 2018 at 1:50 am

      Thank you Carol! I’m so happy you enjoyed the story and I hope you enjoy the pesto too! 🙂

  • Reply
    linda spiker
    February 13, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    This pesto is so pretty! The color is amazing and I am sure it enhances whatever you put it on!

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      February 14, 2018 at 1:50 am

      Thanks Linda! I agree – pesto does make everything better!

  • Reply
    Raia
    February 13, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    I’ve never made my own pesto before, but I love it! I bet a version with peas would be a huge hit with my kids. 🙂

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      February 14, 2018 at 1:51 am

      Oh I’m sure it would be. My little one devoured it!

  • Reply
    Shelby @Fitasamamabear
    February 13, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    So I am pesto obsessed.. it works in everything! Pasta, pizza, stuffed mushrooms… yum!

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      February 14, 2018 at 1:51 am

      Haha Totally! Good on everything!

  • Reply
    Melissa
    February 13, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    This looks amazing! Can’t to try it!

    • Reply
      Daniela Modesto
      February 14, 2018 at 1:51 am

      Thanks Melissa! So simple too!

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