I shucked my first peas a few weeks ago from a bag that I grabbed in a produce giveaway in our test kitchen. The peas were clearly still out of season as they were a bit chewy and the flavor was less bright than the smaller spring ones I've tried in the past, but I was excited to experiment with them at home. After an hour of shucking in front of the TV, I decided to make pesto from half of them and then toss the rest with the pesto and some pasta. My pesto was the best part of the experiment (read all about it after the jump).
Because peanuts were the only nut in my cabinet, I went with Asian flavors: I added some cilantro, garlic, and rice vinegar to the toasted peanuts and blanched peas in my food processor, thinning out the sauce with some of the pea blanching water and extra-virgin olive oil. I loved the zesty fresh flavor of the pesto (and kept eating it by the spoonful) but when I added it to pasta with the extra peas, the sauce lost some of its jazz—maybe I'll try it with rice crackers or noodles next time or with fresh veggies as a dip.
Tell me about your favorite pesto experiment!