Hello Spring and all your beautiful colors! Looking for a quick and healthy recipe to welcome in spring and all it’s glory? This vibrant mint and basil pea spread is like springtime in a bowl. You can use it as a spread on your favorite toast or as a dip for crackers or raw veggies, or even by the spoonful.
Peas have become a new obsession of mine over the years especially as I noticed the bags of raw, shelled peas pop up on the shelves at Trader Joe’s. Apart from using a frozen bag of peas to numb a sore ankle (I sprain mine all the time), I never much incorporated them into recipes. My boys love eating frozen peas and I have stopped trying to figure out the strange taste buds of a two and four year old.
Come to think of it, my shepherd’s pie recipe and maybe the occasional stew were the only times the pea entered into my life as an ingredient. Enter Trader Joe’s and all there fabulous finds.
Every spring Trader Joe’s has bags of fresh (unfrozen), shelled peas on the shelf in the produce section. They are super easy to cook up and include in recipes such as this mint and basil pea spread. I mean seriously easy, folks!
Quick steps for cooking peas:
- Bring water to boil in medium sized pot
- Add salt to its about as salty as ocean
- Add peas into boiling water for about 90 seconds
- Remove peas from boiling water and immediately put into ice bath
If you are asking yourself if that extra step of the ice bath is necessary, the answer is YES! J The ice bath quickly stops the cooking process and helps the peas stay that beautiful vibrant green rather than the dull, lifeless green.
Now that you have the pea cooking process down, lets get to this mint and basil pea spread that I am currently snacking on as I write this blog post.
As I mentioned this recipe is super quick and doesn’t take much as long as you have a blended or a food processor. This is one of those dump and mix kind of deals. You will pop everything into the mixer of choice and blend until it reaches a thick, hummus-like consistency. I like to slowly add the olive oil and extra water until it gets just thick enough. Don’t worry, if you add too much extra water, you’ll be enjoying pea soup. 😉
The mint and basil give the peas a lovely zing of flavor complimented by lemon zest. You don’t even need to chop up the herbs. Throw in the mint and basil leaves whole and let the blender do the work for you. Once the pea spread is done, season with salt as it really helps the others flavors POP in your mouth.
So what do you do with the spread now? Well, that is really up to you and what you have on hand. Sometimes all I have in my cupboard are my favorite seedy crackers. I absolutely devour the Mary’s Gone Crackers Super Seed crackers the minute the box is open and the cracker works well with the pea spread. My boys also tend to like the spread with the crackers so much so that the double..triple…quadruple dip becomes a thing. Yeah, kind of gross, but oh well.
My absolutely favorite, though, is spreading the pea spread on some toasted, hearty bread and adding a touch of flaky salty, grated pecorino cheese, and red pepper flakes. So how will you enjoy this mint and basil pea spread? Cracker, toast, or by the spoonful? Why don’t you make some up and let me know in the comments below what is your favorite.
Mint & Basil Pea Spread
- 2 cups peas, cooked and cooled
- 1 tbsp minced shallot
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp water
- ¼ cup basil leaves
- 6 mint leaves
- 1-2 tsp lemon zest
- salt and pepper
- optional: pecorino romano or other salty cheese, red pepper flakes
- In blender or food processor, add peas, shallot, lemon juice, olive oil, basil and mint leaves. Blend/puree until combined. Add in 1 tbsp of water if need more liquid. You can leave a bit chunky if you prefer more texture.
- Season with salt, pepper, and lemon zest.
- Optional: Top pea dip with grated pecorino romano cheese and red pepper flakes.