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Sugar Snap Pea and Green Garlic Pesto


Sugar Snap Peas are just hitting farmers’ markets – and I’m making the most of them in this heady Pesto blended with Green Garlic – the first garlic to come to market

This special pesto is used as a base on Naan Bread (or Pizza) -top with some Shrimp, Goat Cheese, Tomatoes and some Sugar Snap Peas

6.16.15 - sugar snap pea pesto-3

This time of year, just before the rays of Summer – some of my favorite veggies come to market… Green Garlic and Sugar Snap peas. Together, puréed with Basil, Pine Nuts, Parmigiano Reggiano and Extra Virgin Olive Oil – a fine, vibrant pesto is achieved.

I whirl all the pesto ingredients together (the base), as you typically would – but save the snap peas for last. Then, I sauté them very quickly over high heat, so they are a little blistered, but still bright green in color and crisp-tender. They are added to a food processor and pulsed to combine the textures, leaving the snap peas a little coarser than the base.

Green Garlic is simply young garlic, the first to come up – sometimes called “Spring Garlic”.
The bulbs are white and have attractive pink streaks up the stalks. The ends of the long green stalks are coarse and should be removed, but most of the allium is edible. The flavor is pungent- sweet, but not as assertive as summer bulb garlic. The taste is similar to “garlic scapes” – the curled flower stalks of hard-necked garlic varieties. Scapes are cut off the growing garlic to encourage growth – but they are now a trend ingredient showing up in many recipes where you enjoy scallions, but with a garlicky essence.

Use this pesto wherever you like a burst of flavor and a pop of natural green color.

~ I use the pesto for the base of my Naan Bread, with goat cheese, shrimp and veggies also adoring.
~ Toss with any Pasta (great while the pasta is still warm) to “grab” the flavors. Try non-white
varieties – I’ve used Soba Noodles with buckwheat flour.
~ Blend in to any soft cheese for a quick snack with crackers, or when company calls.
~ Smear over warm grilled foods, such as: Chicken, Steak, Tofu and Sliced Vegetables – will melt into
~  Top Grilled Mushroom caps with the Pesto – Add your favorite cheese, and broil one minute.
~ Make a Marinade: Process Green Garlic with Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a mini food processor until creamy – a beautiful light green color, then add some lime juice and seasonings of your choice.

Ingredients for the Pesto - farmers' markets are great sources for green garlic

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    • Carlyn
    • 18 Jun 2015

    I don’t know what to say except that this is stunning and delicious. Karen? I appreciate the fact that you are sensitive to what is in season (read, both fresh and at a good price). It’s fun to diversify with the seasons. Can’t wait to see what you come up with for any approaching heat waves!!

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