Peashoot Pesto

Pesto made with tender pea-shoots, walnuts and cashews

There are several pesto posts on my blog. Although it started with basil being the herb of choice, I started experimenting with various locally available herbs. Another favourite happens to be coriander which produces a light-coloured pesto like this one in the picture.

I love pea shoots but it’s not often that you get them. And even if you do, the tendrils tend to be very rough and one ends up discarding a whole lot of them. The solution was to grow one’s own but with the sparrow population in our vicinity growing by leaps and bounds, even the wire mesh that I used as a barrier didn’t keep them fully out. The only thing left was to grow them indoors. And that’s what I started doing recently.

Freshly-picked tender pea shoots

I have two trays filled with potting mix sitting in a sunny spot in my kitchen. I used the first batch yesterday. It was lovely to be able to use them. Particularly when the tendrils were still soft. Nothing needed to be discarded. Just a thorough rinse under running water was enough for the next stage!

Ingredients:

  • A bunch of tender pea-shoots
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • Freshly-ground black pepper, as per taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • A handful of cashews
  • Extra virgin olive oil

I don’t use cheese in my pesto. When I first started making pesto, Parmesan wasn’t even available in our city. Now even if it is available, me and my boys are accustomed to the taste without cheese.

Method:

Wash the pea shoots and drain in a colander. Lightly toast the nuts in a pan on the stove till they give out a nutty aroma. Set aside.

After the nuts cool down slightly, blitz them. Add the rest of the ingredients and blitz again till you get the consistency you like. For this I use the small jar of my trusted mixer/grinder. No measurement is given for the oil. It’s more by the eye. You just know. 🙂

Pasta with pea-shoot pesto and a chunk of roasted pork

I teamed up the pesto with penne and chunks of oven-roasted pork. And for someone who loves edible flower garnishes, these brassica blooms were the answer!

Other pesto-related recipes on my blog.

Almond and basil pesto

Pesto bread rolls

Braided Pesto Bread

Pesto Muffins

Braided Bread, Pesto & Labneh

Star Bread With Beetroot Pesto

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