In my opinion, the end of summer is the perfect time to make all the pesto sauces. You can freeze it for a quick dinner on hand in the fall. Pesto isn't only good on pasta, it's also delicious on top of roasted veggies, a salad or spread onto sandwiches. The basil is few and far between in my garden right now (If you aren't like me and do have plenty of basil, here is my recipe for basil pesto). I didn't plant enough this summer and it got too shaded by the dahlias and tomatoes. I do however, have a ton of mint, oregano and thyme to go around.
The other night I was in the mood for pesto pasta, so I had to get creative. I decided to make a pea pesto. Lately, I've really been into arugula pesto, but we had just used up the last of the arugula in the fridge, so peas it was going to be. I have to say, it was one of the most delicious pesto's I have made thus far. It took less than five minutes to pull together and the mint/few leaves of basil gave it the punch it needed. The one tip I will give you, make sure you reserve a little bit of the pasta water to mix into the pesto and pasta. The peas make it very thick, so you will need to thin it out. Below is my recipe for pea pesto, and as well as my arugula pesto.
A handful of fresh mint and basil
10 oz of frozen peas (cooked and blanched)
2 clove of garlic
1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts, walnuts, pecans, or slivered almonds (your choice!)
1/2 cup of olive oil
Squeeze of fresh lemon
1/2 cup-1 cup of parmesan
In a food processor pulse the nuts and garlic clove until a paste forms. Add in the herbs, cooked peas (make sure they are cooled), salt (I add a lot of salt), squeeze of lemon, and pulse until finely chopped. With the processor, slowly add in the olive oil until fully combined. Add in the parmesan and pulse until combined. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil on top. The pesto will keep for 3 days in the fridge.
(If making arugula pesto, sub the peas for three handfuls of arugula (half of a container))