Last week I wrote about an appetizer I made with pureed peas. I wasn’t thrilled with it, but thought it was a good base for… something else. This week I present you with the modified version, and one of my mottos for green produce of all kinds: when all else fails, make pesto.
I smashed, peeled, and blitzed three cloves of garlic in my food processor along with a handful each of basil and parsley. Straight from the fridge, I scraped the leftover pea puree, now a humble new beginning, back into the food processor. In went a few tablespoons of lime juice, a few heaping tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, and a judicious helping of freshly ground black pepper.
It was tangy and herby, but still had the sweetness of peas and the cutting, intriguing coolness of spearmint from the original concoction. I liked it. If I hadn’t been feeling lazy, I might have added some toasted walnuts or even almonds. But I was, and so alas, laziness ruled the day.
Fortunately, laziness did not keep me from slipping a log of goat cheese into the freezer, a box of curlicue pasta into a pot of violently boiling water, and a few slices of sourdough, nicely oiled, salted, and peppered, under the broiler.
It’s summer here, but the smells of this Franken-pesto as it hit the steaming hot curls of chewy-soft pasta were the kind of April and May I wish we’d had. Warm, fresh, sharp but sweet.
We grated the chilly goat cheese over the top – when it’s almost frozen, it becomes like any other hard cheese – and as a coup de grace, added chopped snap peas to the top. Pinched from the plant, rinsed, sliced on a bias. Almost carelessly thrown onto the mound of snowy cheese and grassy sauce. Another garden.
Yum. Welcome, summer. I embrace your call for simplicity, for freshness, for inventive dishes. I will try to do you justice.