Fresh English shelling peas from the farmer’s market are delightful in this recipe, however, if you prefer not to shell your own, frozen peas make a fine substitute.
- 4 oz of shelled peas
- 8 -10 large basil leaves
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmiggiano
- Zest and juice of half a small lemon
- 1-2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Sliced baguette or store-bought crostini for serving also lovely with veggie crudites if opting for gluten-free
Toast pine nuts, taking care they don't burn, and set aside.
Zest and then juice lemon into a small bowl. Grate in garlic and let it sit in the lemon juice for a few minutes. [This is a trick that I use often- the acid will “cook” the raw garlic a bit, mellowing the sharpness.]
Cook the peas in boiling water for 90 seconds and drain well.
Add peas, garlic mixture, basil, parmiggiano, pine nuts, and salt in a food processor and blend, adding just enough olive oil until it is creamy and smooth.
Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed. Spread on toasts and top with the fresh cracked black pepper and another drizzle of olive oil if desired.