Friday, June 15, 2012

Peas please -- time for peas!

Finally, it's time to harvest some produce!  This is when my gardening efforts become really exciting.  I can finally see, and feel, the fruits of my no-till labor.

First on the list were peas. My peas were so prolific that they created a screen on my trellis!  I'd put picking them off for a bit too long because I was so busy with professional commitments.  But at last,  the peas are picked and a recipe hunt ensued.

I wanted something that would use these beautiful peas to their full freshness -- something to really accentuate their pea flavor.  I have a recipe of my own in mind and have saved a portion of peas for just such an experiment -- the results of which I will post, with photos, as soon as possible. But being the impatient type, I wanted to eat so I began the hunt through my favorite food blogs and  ran across a recipe called Linguine with Pea Pesto from The Smitten Kitchen. It's a keeper.

I'm taking the liberty of posting it again here, with a few changes in technique. There are some great photos of the finished dish on the the Smitten Kitchen website... I didn't take any because we were in too much of a hurry to eat!

If you have peas to pick in your no till garden or traditional garden, give this recipe a try and --  Enjoy!

Linguine with Pea Pesto

1 1/2 cups (from approximately 1 1/2 pounds peas in pods) fresh pea or a 10­ounce package frozen peas, defrosted 
1 small garlic clove, minced 
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted and cooled
1/2 cup (1 1/8 ounces) finely grated parmesan cheese 
1/4 teaspoon table salt, plus more for pasta water 
1/3 cup olive oil 
12 ounces dried linguine
6-8 leaves of fresh basil leaves torn or sliced into chiffonade.

If using fresh peas, prepare a large bowl filled with ice water. Bring a small saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add peas and cook for 2 minutes (this leaves them with a bit of structure). Drain peas then add them to the ice bath (if using) and drain again. If you haven’t used an ice bath, let your peas cool to lukewarm before making the pesto.

If using frozen peas, rinse the peas under hot running water until just thawed. Drain well.

Set aside 1/2 cup of your cooked/thawed peas. Whirl the remaining cup of peas in the work bowl of a food processor with garlic, pine nuts, 1/3 cup parmesan and salt until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary. With the machine running, drizzle in olive oil. 

Cook linguine until al dente. Reserve about two cups pasta cooking water (yes, this is a lot, the pea pesto will be surprisingly thick) then drain linguine and return it to pot. Over moderate heat, toss pasta with pesto, reserved peas and as much reserved pasta water as needed to smooth and distribute pesto; let cook for one minute so that the pesto adheres. Adjust salt to taste, add freshly ground black pepper if desired. Serve immediately, garnished with fresh herbs, if using, and remaining parmesan for passing.

Now, get out there and get your hands dirty! All Content ©2011-2012 by The No Till Gardener and Equimage Ltd. All Rights Reserved

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