Okay, so this looks weird. I’ve made a few tasty things lately, but this might just be the TASTIEST thing I’ve made in quite some time. I can’t believe how delicious this little salad is. (And hey, every game day needs at least a little green.) I had pea pesto for the first time over Christmas, when my cousins Tyla and Tracy showed up with it. I’m usually anti- pea, but there was something about it that tickled my fancy, and I decided I could work with it! The version they brought had cheese in it, and no acid. I figured if I played around with it, I could make it a killer salad dressing.
I should also mention that I LOVE pasta salad. It is something that I miss terribly, but I was determined to come up with a salad that would drive pasta salad right out of my mind. Well shit, job done.
NOW: Peas are in sort of a paleo gray area. Some say yes, some say no. But my rule is that if Mark Sisson says that it is okay, I’m going to go with it being okay. He does say that moderation is key, so don’t go eating this every single day (As tempting as it is).
For the pea pesto:
– 14 or so oz bag of peas (defrosted)
– zest and juice of a lemon and a lime
– 1/2 cup of cashews
– 1 cup fresh basil
– 5 cloves of garlic
– White balsamic vinegar (or some other sort of vinegar)
– Oil (the avocado oil really does add quite a bit of creaminess to this, so I highly suggest getting your hands on some if you can. If not, just use whatever you can)
– Red pepper flakes
– Salt and Pepper
For the salad:
– 2 large zucchini made into zucchini noodles (cooked a little bit in a pan)
– Large cucumber peeled and chopped
– 3 tomatoes seeded and chopped up
– 2/3 to a full nappa cabbage chopped up into strips
– other veggies if you feel so called, or some meat to throw in, if it’s going to be a dinner type salad
First, throw the bag of peas in the food processor, and zest the lime and lemon into there, and then juice those babies right into there.
Throw the cashews, garlic, basil, and about 1/4 of a teaspoon of red pepper flakes in there, and give it a good blitz, until it looks pretty creamy.
Give it a good taste, and add a little acid to taste, and then a decent sprinkle of salt and pepper. Get the processor going again, and drizzle oil in until it’s creamy and loose enough to toss with salad.
Taste it again, and adjust the seasoning one last time until it’s just right.
Toss the pea pesto with the zucchini, tomato, cucumber, and radishes.
Once the veggies are combined, add the nappa, and give it another really good mix until everything is coated in deliciousness.
Again, it might not be the prettiest, but holy crap, is it tasty. Make it, and eat it hard!