Cilantro-y Pea Spread with Almond & Garlic Scapes

May 8, 2010 § 1 Comment

Consider this dip a tweaked version of my favorite summer recipe of 2009.  This time, instead of blending a couple handfuls of blanched peas with olive oil, basil, Parmesan cheese and roasted garlic skapes, I tossed out the cheese, replaced it with almond butter and added a generous handful of a different, biting taste: cilantro.  Thankfully, I’m not one of those unfortunate cilantro-haters, genetically predisposed to hate this pungent, green herb.  I adore the stuff.  But if you think it tastes like soap, this dip would be equally delicious and just as addictive with a smattering of different herbs: try a big handful of basil and a bit of sage, or a bunch of parsley and a little oregano (pretty strong stuff in the raw), or roasted ramps or chives.  How about some mint?

I was inspired to whip up this recipe and tweak my old fav after I read about Clotilde’s favorite pea spread on her smile-inducing blog, “Chocolate and Zucchini.” My spread veers a little from Clotilde’s, but the inspiration is from her – especially her thumbs-up inclusion of almond butter into the shmear.

One note about the ingredient list: It’s garlic scape season and I’ve been buying gigantic, curly-q’d bundles from Forever Young Farm in Amado, AZ each Thursday.  If you don’t have these spindly green stems, tasting of sweeter, mild garlic, that’s a bummer, but not a recipe-nixer.  Instead, try roughly chopping 4-5 garlic cloves and sauteing them until golden in olive oil (keep a close eye – it takes only a minute or two and burns quickly), to take the edge off.

Ingredients:
2 cups shelled peas (fresh or frozen & defrosted)
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons almond butter, unsalted
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
10 garlic scapes, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1-2 teaspoons olive oil, for sauteing
water, for thinning

Methods:

1. Shell peas or remove from freezer.  Cook peas until al dente and bright green – a matter of minutes.   (If frozen & thawed, 1-2 minutes; if fresh, 2-4 minutes.)  Once cooked, drain and toss peas in a blender or Cuisinart.  (If they’re still a little wet that’s fine – it’ll aid the ease of blending.)

2.  Meanwhile, heat 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil on the stove and cook garlic scapes until softened and slightly browned, about 4-5 minutes.  Add to blender/Cuisinart.

3.  Add remaining ingredients and pulse.  If necessary, add a teaspoon of water at a time to thin.  Serve warm or cold on flat breads, crackers or dip with crunchy veggies.  The shelf life for this dip isn’t long – two to three days, tops – so eat it up while it’s fresh.  I enjoy it best warm, straight out of the Cuisinart.

Diet Notes: SCD-safe, vegan, gluten-free

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