Every spring my parents have a long argument about what to do with our backyard. Since no one is ever really home to tend to it, the grass withers each year and dies away, leaving a progressively balding expanse. My mother argues for replanting the grass and raising the property value. My father argues for growing useful things like fruit and vegetables. This year they came to a relatively happy compromise. Mint. Spearmint specifically.
Mint is quite hardy, surviving this July's incredible 192.3 mm of rain as well as the hot, dry days. Further it grows like a weed, spreading quite widely. As it stands it has taken over one side of the yard and is threatening to spread further. While this makes my dad ecstatic, it leaves my mother and I wondering what to do with all of it.
Last night I culled some of our straggling lot and turned it into pesto. It is actually deliciously simple, dairy free and can be quite easily made after a long day of work. As a bonus, the pasta cooks up in about the same amount of time that it takes to make the pesto - so save for the washing up (which is minimal) you can have this on the table in approximately 10 minutes.
Green Pea and Mint Pesto with Pasta Ingredients for the Pesto
1 clove of garlic peeled
1/2 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of cider/white wine/rice wine vinegar
1 tsp of mustard
1.5 cups (12 oz) of frozen green peas, thawed
5 or 6 tbsp of chopped mint leaves
2 tbsp of peanut butter
Ingredients for the Pasta
3 cups of dry pasta (I used penne)
3 tbsp of salt
6 litres of water
1. Set a large pot on the stove, over high heat. Add the water, salt and the garlic clove from the pesto ingredients and bring to a rolling boil.
2. While the water is heating, pour the olive oil, vinegar, and mustard into the bottom of your blender and blitz to combine.
3. Once the water comes to a boil, remove the garlic clove and add to the blender. Pour the pasta into the water and stir briefly to ensure it does not stick to the bottom.
4. Blitz to mince the garlic and then add the peas and mint. Blitz again to break down the peas until they are creamy. It should look like the image below.
6. Once you've achieved a consistency you like, and once the pasta is al dente and drained, stir the pesto into the hot pasta.
7. Then stir the peanut butter into the pasta, making sure that the peanut butter melts into the pasta.
8. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
9. Pile onto plates and consume.