Sugar Snap Pesto

Excerpt from my June 26, 2009 column in the Register Star and Daily Mail:

Pesto means “to pound.” Traditionally it is made with a mortar and pestle…and basil. I will occasionally make regular pesto that way. For this recipe I’m substituting sugar snap peas for the basil and am using a food processor to make quick work of “pounding” the pea pods. The result is a beautifully green, bright tasting pesto. Perfect for tossing in pasta or serving with grilled fish or chicken.


2 cups young sugar snap peas (Whole, not shelled. Taste a whole pea. If it is not sweet, shell the peas first.)
1-2 garlic cloves
1 cup shelled pistachio nuts
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 tablespoon rice vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper


-Remove the stems and strings from pea pods. Wash and pat dry.
-Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend. Add more olive oil if pesto is too dry.
-Taste; add more salt, pepper, and lemon juice if needed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *