May 4, 2011

Pea Puree with Mint

Here in Boston it’s finally spring. It’s so beautiful outside right now with spring flowers just bursting open everywhere. The pink and white cherry blossoms are in bloom, the purple azaleas have made their appearance, and tulips of every color seem to popping up everywhere.

We’ve finally put away our down jackets (the fleece is still on the coat rack, just in case). And bikes, razors and wagons are out on the sidewalks again.

The dinner table looks different too. Gone are the hearty soups and stews of winter. When it’s warm and humid, the last thing I want to do is tuck into a piping hot lasagna. This weather calls for lighter, fresher fare.

This minted pea puree is a nice springtime side dish. The mint complements the peas, but isn’t overpowering. You can taste the hint of garlic and the subtle undertone of olive oil. It’s a nice alternative to a carb-heavy side like mashed potatoes. I served mine alongside some simple roasted salmon and we didn’t miss the starch. 

This dish has the added bonus of not requiring any cooking. You might even want to make extra and use the leftover puree on top of crostini or as a dip for pita bread. (Just be aware that the taste of the garlic will intensify over time.)

There’s very little to this recipe, just peas, fresh mint, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. (The recipe called for parmesan cheese but I left it out. I’m sure it would be a delicious addition.)

Combine everything except the olive oil in the food processor. (I’ve also successfully made this recipe in a blender.)

Puree until the peas are broken up but still a little chunky.

With the processor (or blender) running, drizzle in the olive oil.

Continue to puree until it reaches the consistency you like.


Pea Puree with Mint

2 cups frozen peas, thawed (about 10 ounces)
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I only used about 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1.      Combine the peas, mint, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor and puree.

2.      With the machine running, add the olive oil in a steady drizzle.

3.      Transfer the pea puree to a small bowl and stir in the Parmesan. Serve at room temperature.

Serves 4

Note: To make ahead, make the puree then cover and refrigerate it. Take it out of the fridge a few hours before you are going to serve it to allow it to come back to room temperature.

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