I was itching for one original unprecedented snow pea recipe since last year's snow pea season. Because they come and go with the blink of an eye, my goal was to make the best of them in a single main course. But after various attempts I had to accept the fact that they can be a little too much or too sharp when consumed independently. Therefore I started my search for the perfect companion to bring color, texture and twist to snow peas. Potatoes were the one thing I tried to avoid because I wanted a recipe unheard of; the idea to combine them with snow peas seemed far from imaginative. However whilst I did "imaginative tasting" - contemplating the harmony of snow peas with other vegetables in my head, my mind was constantly drawn to them. Eventually I gave in.
In hope of further inspiration I scanned the generous list of epicurious.com's snow pea recipes and the best idea I've seen so far was there: parsley pesto. Pine nuts and parmesan were more than I could have asked for. I toasted the pine nuts to bring out their flavor. My favourite part in experimenting new recipes is the part when I taste and conclude that it can be improved with the touch of one extra ingredient. I safely added mustard, potato's usual good friend which brought more sweetness and the twist I was looking for.
Aside from snow peas my agenda is currently busy with the wellness of our itsy bitsy street cat Tavşancık. Ever since she has set foot to this earth, the weather conditions haven't been very friendly to her. Her mildness made her susceptible to the harsh dragging winter and eventually she caught the flu. Now she is resting in her usual corner, sneezing and coughing and making Darth Vaderish sounds as she breaths through her infected nose. Her siblings are healthy and brisk, their furs shiny and clean whereas our little favourite here looks like a fuzz bunny straight from trash. To make the matters worse, her womb becomes more and more visible to the eye. I have absolutely no idea how a cat as incapable as her will ever be able to nurse her babies. She looks all warn out and beaten and probably thinking in despair that this is as good as the weather of Istanbul gets. "No" I want to tell her and hope she understands, "soon you will be chasing butterflies under the sun".
Snow Peas with Potatoes and Parsley Pesto
recipe from epicurious.com with slight amendments
- 250 gr snow peas, strings removed, washed and dried
- 250 gr small sweet or red potatoes, halved
- 4 cups parsley sprigs
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon mustard
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1) Boil potatoes for 20-25 minutes until tender. Remove their skin and leave aside.
2) Roast pine nuts in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Occasionally swirl the pan to roast all sides equally. Remove from heat when browned.
3)Combine garlic, parsley sprigs, pine nuts, parmesan and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor and process them to a paste. Add 1/2 cup olive oil and give it a quick whizz. You can keep the parsley pesto in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
4) Blend mustard with parsley pesto.
5) In a non-stick pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Over medium heat, sauté snow peas with 1 tablespoon sugar. If you like them crispy 3 minutes will do. But if you enjoy them tender like me, sauté them for 6-7 minutes until they caramelize and brown on the sides.
6) Combine potatoes, snow peas and pesto-mustard paste in a salad bowl. Serve hot or cold with grated parmesan and more roasted pine nuts if you like.