Spring Pea Pesto

Spring Pea Pesto
April and May are the trickiest months to figure out what to wear. One day it’s sunny and 70, and the next it’s rainy and 45. I have finally accepted that no matter how much time I spend scanning my closet, I am going to be dressed for the wrong season. Right now I feel that way in the kitchen, too. We are still a month away from farmer’s market season kicking-off in Chicago, and I have no idea what to eat.

On a bright but cool day, I made spring pea pesto using frozen peas. When the fresh ones appear at the market, I will whip up another batch, but for now frozen are the perfect way to navigate this awkward transition. Scallions gave the pesto more flavor and dimension than just garlic alone while lemon and Pecorino added a distinct zip to the peas. I tossed the pesto with fusilli for an early spring meal.

Spring Pea Pesto
Spring Pea Pesto

Makes about 1 cup

1-10 ounce package frozen peas, thawed or 1-1/2 cups fresh peas
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 scallion, roughly chopped
1/4 cup blanched almonds
1 ounce Pecorino cheese, grated
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the peas for 2-3 minutes until they are just tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peas to a bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking. Drain the peas once they have cooled.

Pulse the garlic and scallions in the bowl of a food processor until they are minced. Add the peas, almonds, Pecorino, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper. Puree the mixture and while the motor is running, drizzle the olive oil through the feeder tube until the pesto is fully combined.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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