Green With Envy


Yesterday we were invited to celebrate the Super Bowl at the house of our friends, Mark & Filippa.  The girls sat in the kitchen snacking on delicious artichoke dip until Beyonce came on and pulled off a performance so bad ass that the Super Dome's (proper) response was a blackout.  We agree, Bey, you're a tough act to follow.  I actually did watch a few minutes of the game at the end - which was pretty exciting.  I thought the 49ers really might pull it out.  I'm glad they didn't though, because as it happened, Peter bet five hundred dollars on the Ravens and won (sorry, Joe).  

My favorite part of the Super Bowl is always the food - and Filippa kept us fat & happy.  We had all of the football staples - pizza, mac & cheese, and dips of all sorts.  I checked in with Filippa last week to see if there was anything I could contribute and she suggested something light & healthy for the girls.  I wanted it to be something pretty & tasty that the boys would be envious of, despite their many more gluttonous options.  I went with a pea pesto with mint and a variety of garden vegetables.  Although it takes a little time to wash and prepare the veggies, the dip can be prepared in 10 minutes or less.  This is just a classic pesto sauce subbing peas for basil and adding mint.  I know this past weekend was a big one for dips, but keep this on file for your next cocktail party.  It's easy, delicious and healthy.

Pea Pesto with Mint

3 cups peas (frozen is great)
1 cup grated parmesan 
1 cup toasted pine nuts
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup mint leaves
3 cloves garlic

Warm peas in boiling water 2 minutes; drain.  Add garlic, pine nuts, peas, olive oil & mint leaves to food processor.  Pulse until smooth.  Add lemon juice.  Stir into mixture.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Preparing vegetables:

Green beans: Rinse. Cut off ends.  
Radishes: Scrub.  Slice with Mandolin.
Baby French Carrots: Cut off greens.  Scrub.  If texture is too rough, peel outside layer with a vegetable peeler.  However, peeling carrots this small is not necessary (it's just aesthetic).

While you're preparing your dip, put your veggies in a salted ice bath.  The colors will be richer and the vegetables will have a bit more flavor.