To say things have been lacking in routine lately would be a bit of an understatement. I started a new job a few weeks ago and being on the learning curve always makes for a bumpy ride. I continually have to remind myself that this is just the beginning, that things will shift, feel more settled, evolve as they always do. Having moved around a few times in these past years I often get the feeling that we are constantly starting over from scratch. square one. It can be frustrating at times, but there is always a bigger picture. I am beginning to see glimpses that now, and it looks good you guys. real good. There is more work to be done and there always will be. Digging deep and having the courage to find out what I’m really made of – this is the work that matters. So here’s to gathering courage and fresh peas.
I can’t take credit for these gorgeous scapes. They belong the our neighboring garden, but hey, that’s what friends are for. They just reminded me of life as we know it right now – wild and growing in every which way but stemming from solid, humble roots. Enjoy the weekend, folks – whatever it may bring.
White Bean + Pea Salad with Spring Herb Pistou
Pistou is much like a pesto but without the nuts and/or cheese. At least I’m pretty sure. In France you will most likely find it made from basil, olive oil and garlic. Often served on top of soup. Soupe au Pistou is such a delicious summer treat. What I made here would not really be considered a pistou by French standards – but I’m all about breaking the rules, so pistou it is and pistou it will be. Any herbs will do, and if you can’t get your hands on garlic scapes, a few cloves will work just fine.
This salad makes a nice light lunch or late dinner with a few slices of your favorite sourdough toast and lots of the good olive oil. It would also be nice with some cooked earthy grains like spelt berries or farro. If you’re a cheese lover like my French husband, some crumbled goat’s cheese or sheep’s milk feta would be a welcomed final touch. The recipe below will make for lots of extra pistou, I kept half in the fridge and froze what was left into ice cube trays for adding to pasta, sauces and soups at a later date. Half the recipe if you don’t care for leftovers.
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Serves 4-6 as a side. Vegan + Gluten Free.
- 1 + 1/2 cup cooked white beans (butter beans or cannellini would be my top picks)
- 2 cups peas, fresh or frozen
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup fresh mint
- 1 cup fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup fresh dill
- 3 garlic scapes, or 2 cloves (depending on how garlicky you like it!)
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Water, a few tablespoon or as needed
- Black pepper
- Extra mint and lemon zest for serving
What to do
If you’re using fresh peas, I would recommend a quick blanch just to soften them a little and make the green color pop. Drop the peas into a pot with boiling water, cook for no longer than a minute and then drain and rinse well under cold water. If you’re using frozen peas, place them in a bowl of warm water to thaw. Again, drain and rinse well under cold water to stop the cooking process.
Add peas, beans and onion to a large salad bowl.
Place scapes, mint, dill, parsley, lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper into a blender and begin blending, with the motor running drizzle in the olive oil and then add water as needed to help things along. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Add a few spoonfuls of pistou to the peas + beans – mix to combine. Add pistou as needed until desired taste. Add a few fresh mint leaves and garnish with lots of lemon zest and freshly cracked black pepper. Drizzle with extra olive oil.