Peas are associated with comfort food, as a side with cottage pie and lashings of thick mashed potato and Sunday roasts. However this dip is light and perfect for the summer. I combine it with dry roasted cashews for flavour and creaminess and it is a welcome change from chickpea dips, hummus and guacamole.
Should we only eat organic and fresh vegetables? It is very difficult to find good fresh peas all year round and frozen peas prove to be of a high nutritional value and they have usually been harvested when they are ripe at their peak. They are washed, processed and bagged within minutes of being picked and can be beneficial in many ways. Buy a good brand from a reputable commercial outlet to be sure that they have been transported in transit vans at the right temperature to retain their freshness and flavour, especially in the summer.
‘It is sunny here with a bright blue cloudless sky and everything looks spectacular in June, perfect weather before the intense heat.’
For the pea and cashew dip, you will need:
450g frozen peas
1 large clove garlic
30g grated gbejna cheese or parmesan or use vegan cheese
a pinch of dried marjoram
4 leaves fresh marjoram
4 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons cashew nuts [I use the more economical cashew pieces that come pre-packed]
1/8 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
salt and freshly ground pepper
To finish off: a few leaves of fresh marjoram and olive oil
Boil ample water in a pot and as soon as it starts to boil add the frozen peas and garlic clove and remove from heat. Cover the pan with a lid and leave for 2 minutes and not more to retain the vibrant colour and consistency. Drain the water and place the peas in a food processor or liquidizer. Dry roast the cashew pieces by placing them in a large pan over high heat. Shake the pan and do not allow them to brown but the oils of the nuts start to release and the roasted taste combined with the peas is delicious. Add the rest of the ingredients and puree. You may wish to have a very smooth dip or leave it with some consistency and texture by pulsing the processor and stopping once the cashews have broken down completely. Taste and season. Tip into a bowl and top with some olive oil and fresh marjoram leaves. Serve warm or place in the refrigerator for an hour.
*This recipe is *gluten free * diabetic-friendly *vegetarian*
*For a lactose free or vegan dip, omit the cheese or simply use a vegan cheese*
Serve with warm pita bread or nut and seed bread. It is great for dipping crudities and also to serve with any finger food. I also like this dip as an accompaniment to grilled meats or fish.
Lea’s Good Food Everyday airs on Smash TV every day and you can also follow the facebook page
Frozen Peas and frozen vegetables by Green Isle at Rimus Trading Agency
Fresh Fruit and Vegetables from Big Fresh Mosta, Oscar’s Fruit and Vegetables Paola and Barbuto [Organic]