Pea Spread with Meyer Lemon

IMG_3890My sister and I were walking the other day.  Several times a week we take our dogs, Lainie & Bonnie for a hike up over Burchell Hill and around back through the woods.  It takes about 1¼ hrs and gives us lots of time for conversation, when we’re not huffing and puffing!

We were discussing the foods we eat.  Most of the foods found in both our homes are whole foods.  Basically we start from scratch when making any meal.  Then we talked about how many processed foods we have in our homes.  We both have more than we would have guessed.  Our processed items are very similar: condiments, dairy products, crackers, granola bars, tortilla chips, peanut butter, jams, chocolate, alcoholic beverages, soft beverages, canned tomatoes & sauce, boxed cereals & Dr. Oetker pizzas (we both had at least one in our freezer).

That got me to thinking about what I had in my freezers.   I have two chest freezers, a top freezer on our extra fridge, and an upright small freezer in the kitchen.  One of our chest freezers is used solely for customers’ beef.  It gets turned on a few days before a delivery and is shut down when empty. The chest freezer in the house holds our own beef, any other meats I have purchased from other farms, and fish.  One side is filled with assorted berries, all measured before packaging & ready to use easily, and stocks.  The small top freezer holds any extra baked goods. My kitchen freezer is filled with at least one of each type of fruit I have on hand, a huge assortment of nuts & seeds, specialty flours, grains, coffee, a small selection of meats and frozen peas.  I routinely sort through the freezers, rotating stock, using up things I may have forgotten I had, and basically keeping them organized.  If they’re not tidy, food gets wasted.

Funny how the only vegetables I have in the pantry or the freezer are tomatoes and peas.  Tomatoes are such a go to vegetable for most of us for sauces, pasta etc.  The peas are one of the very few vegetables that can handle being frozen and still give you a good, fresh tasting product when cooked.  I use them in risotto, as a quick side dish when the crispers are getting low, tossed in a salad, and for this very fresh tasting spread.  A thin sliver of rustic bread with a smear of these peas is an amazing snack.  So, don’t be proud, keep a small bag of good quality frozen peas at hand and use them to their fullest potential!

Click here for printable version.

Ingredients

1 clove of garlic, chopped

A good-sized handful of parsley, washed & chopped – curly or flat

1 T olive oil

Pinch of salt

½ c water

2 cups of good quality frozen young peas, thawed

2 T chopped chives

1 Meyer lemon, zest & juice

¼ t dried chili flakes

Oil to process

Salt & pepper

Directions

In a small skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon of oil over medium heat.

Add in the garlic, and gently cook for 2 minutes.

Add in the chopped parsley and cook until just wilted.

In a small saucepan, bring the water & salt to a boil.

Add in the thawed peas and cook for 2 minutes.

Drain, and rinse with cold water.

Put the peas into the bowl of a food processor, along with the cooked garlic & parsley.

Pulse until well chopped and combined.IMG_3881

Add in the chives, Meyer lemon juice and zest, with the dried chili flakes.IMG_3883

Pulse until well combined, and spreadable.

Season with a bit of salt & pepper to taste.

To aid in binding the spread, add in 1 – 2 T of oil to the final few pulses.

Chill, covered, for 2 hours before serving.

Can be made a day ahead.

To serve, put spread in a bowl, and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.

Serve with thinly sliced rustic bread.IMG_3886

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