Out of all of the food that we served at our Point Reyes Food Photography Workshop last month, one of the most requested recipes was this pea & pistachio pesto. Vibrant and refreshing, this pea & pistachio pesto brings all kinds of spring flavors to the table. Peas, mint, and lemon meld together with pistachios & olive oil into a spread that you will literally want to eat with everything!
When I planned the menu with our Chef, Matt Flores, we both really wanted to celebrate the best of spring produce and incorporate unique and unexpected dishes whenever possible. I loved the idea of using peas in an unconventional manner and knew that a pea pesto would be a great refreshing condiment to be served during our epic cheeseboard spread during the workshop.
This pesto was so popular that we ended up serving it the next day as a pizza topping and on the last day spread on toast for breakfast (thank goodness we had made enough!) While all of the food at the workshop was incredible, I must say that this pea & pistachio pesto was the one thing that I wish there had been leftovers of – it is THAT good!
It really is so simple to pull together as well and is the perfect way to enjoy some of the best flavors of spring. Matt and I actually got together to recreate the pea & pistachio pesto so that we could share the recipe with you all and I must say, that working with another person in my kitchen and studio was nothing short of awesome! Styling with another person is such a dynamic experience and totally reminded me of how inspiring it is to create with others. Watching how someone else sees the composition of an image is one of the greatest ways to learn and working alongside Matt for this shoot was a total pleasure!
I really cannot say enough good things about this pea & pistachio pesto, it has everything about a dish that I love; it has savory notes, sweet notes, varying textures and can be used in so many different ways, it is a great staple to have in your refrigerator waiting to be used in meals throughout the week. Try it spread on toast with dollops of ricotta or goat cheese and a poached egg for breakfast, use it in salads, wraps or sandwiches for lunch or add it to pasta or pizza for dinner, the possibilities are endless.
- 16 oz. (1 lb) fresh peas (or thawed if using frozen)
- 1/4 cup roasted unsalted pistachios, shelled
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup parmesan (or omit to make dairy free)
- salt & pepper to taste
- Begin by blanching the peas in boiling water for 2 minutes and then moving to them to an ice bath to chill & remove the peas from the water once chilled
- Add the chilled peas, mint, olive oil, lemon zest & parmesan (if omitting parmesan add a generous pinch of salt) - pulse in the food processor until ingredients are well combined, but not smooth - you want the pesto to have a bit of texture.
- Taste the pesto for seasoning, add salt to taste as necessary
- Cover and chill in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve - pea pesto will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days
This recipe produces a thick pesto that is great for spreading on bread If you plan on using it to top a pizza or to use it in pasta, add olive oil until it reaches your desired consistency