I first had this sweet pea pesto at Sommelier Camp in Umpaqua Valley. Sue Brandborg served it spread on French bread with Brandborg Vineyard and Winery’s 2016 Scarlet Cuvee Rose and 2015 Riesling. Everyone went mad for it.
I am always looking for make ahead appetizers that can be served cold or room temperature. This is all that plus, a little sweet, a little minty, a little tangy, super fresh tasting and it pairs with almost any summer white you might open.
I am a huge fan of traditional basil pesto but I have to say this Sweet Pea Pesto is winning. First you can make it with frozen peas. Sue almost looked apologetic when she told me that. Are you kidding? I can get frozen peas year round plus, hello how many vegetable servings is that? I used Green Giant Brand 12 oz Sweet Pea Steamers.
Second, while I have not done the math this has to be less fattening than basil pesto because there aren’t nuts. If am wrong don’t tell me. Finally, it isn’t nearly as garlicky, in fact you could omit the garlic completely. Eat up then pucker up because you will still be kissable.
The recipe was a deconstructed version of pesto when I got it. I have reconstructed it and played with different ratios. It is hard to mess up and you can make it to your taste.
I first made it as a spread for our Rosé on Rose Street. Since then I have had it for breakfast, spread on a cracker and topped with slices of hard boiled egg. And spooned on top of oven baked rockfish. I think you could layer it on cardboard and it would be good.
As far as a wine to pair…
I was absolutely blown away by Troon Vineyard 2014 Applegate Valley, Southern Oregon Vermentino. I don’t have a ton of experience with this white Italian grape but many white Italian wines seem to be mostly citrus flavor and acid. This reminded me of a Chardonnay IF the bottle managed to capture every ounce of flavor a Chard can give on its own plus the texture and flavor of French Oak. So often Chardonnay is one or the other or worse neither and I get bored or angry. The more I tasted the Vermentino the more I loved it. And folks it is a steal at $25. Don’t serve it too cold – think white Burgundy temperature – and you will get major aromatics – lemon pound cake, banana bread, vanilla, apple, floral, marzipan and Old World minerality that keeps you coming back for more. Delicate, beautiful, bright. It speaks quietly but has a lot to say so settle in and enjoy a good long conversation that will keep you interested until the end.
AND because there are so many beautiful summer wines and this sweet pea pesto is some freaking awesome and versatile here are some suggestions:
Riesling: In addition to Brandborg Vineyard and Winery’s originally listed, Domain Pouillon has a fantastic own rooted old vine Riesling in their tasting room in Lyle, WA. I just had the pleasure of tasting Rain Dance Vineyards Riesling and would highly recommend. We are always fans of Chehalem Winery’s Riesling – especially Corral Creek Vineyards.
Viognier: Southern Oregon is a great place for affordable, well made Viognier. Try Dobbes Family Estate Viognier sourced from (Rogue Valley), Ledger David Cellars Rogue Valley Viognier, and Cooper Ridge Vineyards Umpqua Valley Viognier – where the secrets are a long time on the vine and a splash of Riesling and Gruner Veltliner. Or really go off the beaten Viognier path and get a Snake River Valley Viognier from Cinder Wines in Idaho.
Sauvignon Blanc: As much as I like Brandborg Winery’s Riesling on my last tasting trip it was their Sauvigon Blanc that blew me and the other sommeliers away. In a wine packed 3 days, we asked for a second pour of this one. Also making a beautiful Sauvignon Blanc in Umpqua Valley is Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyard.
So many suggestions. I guess I recommend getting some Oregon white or rose wine and eating it with this Sweet Pea Pesto – even straight off the spoon.
- 2 cups peas, fresh or frozen, I used Green Giant Brand 12oz Sweet Pea Steamers
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- ⅔ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, I used Oregon Olive Mill
- ½ clove of fresh garlic
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ¾ - 1 cup packed, chopped fresh mint
- Steam peas in microwave according to package directions. Place in food processor with remaining ingredients and puree until smooth. Can be served garnished with more mint and balsamic.
*Some recommended wines were given as samples from the winery and enjoyed by the wine writer.
This article is part of a Wine Pairing Weekend #winepw group pairing hosted by Nancy Brazil of PullthatCork.com The theme: Summer Supper and Wine. I can’t wait to get more ideas from my wine pairing friends.
- Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm will share Eating and Drinking Locally for the Summer Months #WinePW
- Cindy of Grape Experiences will pair Summer Supper: Cool Pasta Salad and Côtes du Rhône Refreshers
- Ellen of Family Around The Table will prepare Hassleback Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Jane of Always Ravenous will prepare Southern Summer Supper with a French Twist
- David of Cooking Chat will pair Grilled Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa and a Summery White Wine
- Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla will share Ceviche + Scheid’s Albariño #WinePW
- Jade of Tasting Pour will share Sweet Pea Pesto Meets Wines of Summer
- Jeff of FoodWineClick has prepared Cool Kitchen Seafood Rolls for an Easy Summer Supper
- Julie and Edgar of Wine-N-Friends will share Tintilla and Ribs: Superb Summer Pairing #winePW
- Gwendolyn of Wine Predator will share Getting to know Napa: Bison Steak BBQ with Rombauer Atlas and Stice Cabs plus Conn Creek Atlas Rose! #WinePW
- Peter and Nancy of Pull That Cork will share Lamb Gyros and a Super Sauvignon Blanc for #winePW