Pesto. One of my favorite foods. Or is it a condiment? I’m not sure, but I like it! Last week, while I was perusing dashandbella, (again) I came across this. I had never even heard of pea shoots before so I did the Google and learned they were baby pea plants. Cool. Life continued on and during my visit to the store a few days later, I ran across these:
Pea tendrils? And, live ones at that. They jumped into my cart and found their way home with me. I checked Google and, from what I can tell, pea tendrils are the same as pea shoots. I think my tendrils may be a little older than the shoots that Phyllis has pictured. I had pretty much everything else to make the pesto so it’s pesto time! Please refer to the link above to dashandbell for the full recipe.
I was using raw almonds that still had their skin. First thing up was to blanch the almonds, which is a pretty simple process. Put a pot of water on to boil. While you are waiting, measure out your nuts. You can also preheat your oven to 350 degrees and put your garlic cloves into the oven to roast.
When the water boils, turn off the heat from under the pot. Pour the almonds into the water and leave them for exactly one minute. Any longer and your almonds will absorb the water and become soggy. Nobody likes soggy nuts. You may notice that your nuts bob up and down in the water; that’s normal. When the minute is over, pour the almonds into a colander and spray with cold water.
Next, squeeze the almond and the skin should just slip off. It’s kinda fun. Pat the almonds dry with a paper towel.
Now, the almonds need to be toasted. I put mine into my toaster over for about 15 minutes and flipped them over half-way through. Mine might be a little dark because I may have forgotten them for a bit, but they will be just fine.
After you blanch the pea tendrils/shoots then the fun begins.
Throw the pea tendrils into your food processor and pulverize.
Keep processing, add the cheese and garlic, drizzle in the olive oil and add the almonds . I did not have any lemons or lemon juice so I used lemon infused olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.
This batch of pesto is a little thicker than I would normally make. I could re-process it with some more olive oil or lemon juice (which I now have) but this is a nice spreadable consistency.
This pesto is very green tasting. Not grassy, just green. I’m used to the standard basil pesto so my first bite was a shock. I’m not sure what I was expecting – perhaps a basil flavor? Who knows. By my second bite, I was starting to like the flavor. I had it for lunch with pepperjack cheese and a sour dough roll. It was very good and I have plans for it for tonight’s dinner. Perhaps with some creme fraiche?