Thursday, 28 February 2013

Snow Pea and Sunflower Seed Pesto

I made recipe the other night and it turned out extra yummy. I wanted something different, something nutty. So, working off a basic pesto recipe, I made a snow pea, oregano and sunflower seed pesto and served it on gnocchi. Definitely not your usual Monday night pasta dish.
We only made one package of gnocchi, but we also had the pesto for leftovers with fettuccine  so there is enough pesto here for around 4 servings, depending on how much sauce you like. I added a tablespoon of pumpkin seed butter to round out the protein in the dish since it's a complete protein source, and it is also high in iron and a source of antioxidants. Sunflower seeds are also an excellent source of essential fatty acids, especially omega-6 fatty acids. So yay us on getting in some yummy extra nutrients. You guys might not really care what nutrients are in what, but nutrition is a passion of mine, so I have a tendency to think about my ingredients nutrient wise when I am cooking with them. Knowledge doesn't hurt, right?

Serves: 4


2 packages of gnocchi, or pasta for 4
1/2 cup roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
optional-1 Tbsp pumpkin seed butter
2-3 cloves garlic
2 cup snow peas, washed
1 Tbsp packed fresh oregano (or thyme)
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, the good stuff
Fresh ground pepper and sea salt to taste


Toast the seeds until they smell toasty in a frying pan on medium heat.
Transfer toasted nuts and to a food processor. And pulse until crumbly.
Add pumpkin seed butter and pulse again until combined. 
Blanch snow peas in boiling water for around 15 seconds.
Add blanched snow peas, oregano, and salt and water to the blender and puree until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
Add the olive oil and mix until well combined, then add the nutritional yeast and the lemon juice and mix again.
If you desire a thinner product, add more water or olive oil, and mix well.
Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook gnocchi as directed on package. 
Drain when cooked(don’t rinse, it needs the starch to stick), and sauce with pesto.