To me, nothing screams ‘SPRING’ like sweet peas, fresh mint and lemons!! If you’re a fan of these three flavours/foods too – I’ve got one recipe that can be utilized many ways! Cheers to springtime eating & cooking!  

Click here to watch CTV Morning Live segment.

Sweet Pea Pesto: Three Ways 

Sweet Pea Pesto Recipe ~ up your pesto game with a bag of frozen peas (not only for a sprained ankle anymore folks..ha!!) – sweet, delicious and nutritious.

1/2 cup (125 mL) seeds (*I use ¼ cup (60 mL) each: sunflower & pumpkin seeds)

2 cloves garlic (*or to taste)

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) frozen peas, thawed (*or fresh sweet peas)

¼ cup (60 mL) roughly chopped fresh mint 

¼ cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan cheese 

½ tsp (2 mL) salt

hefty pinch each: chili flakes and ground nutmeg

zest and juice of one lemon  

1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil 

1 tbsp (15 mL) water (*optional)

Place seeds and garlic in food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until well chopped. Add  peas and pulse until  finely chopped (scrape down side of bowl if needed). Add mint, cheese and spices and pulse until combined. Add lemon zest and juice. With the motor running – drizzle in oil. Check consistency – for a thinner pesto add 1 tbsp (15 mL) water.

Sweet Pea Pesto White Bean Dip  

Fresh, nutritious and a delicious excuse to dip those veggies!!

1 can (540 mL) white kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Sweet Pea Pesto (recipe above)

Garnish: olive oil, chopped fresh mint and sprouts.

Place beans in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until finely chopped. Scrape down sides of bowl when needed. Add sweet pea pesto and pulse until well combined. Check consistency: if dip is too thick add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and pulse until combined. Place dip on platter and drizzle with olive oil, chopped fresh mint and sprouts. Serve with veggie sticks and crackers.

Sweet Pea Pesto Tuna Melts with California Raisins

Add a ‘taste of spring’ to a classic comfort dish! I like to stir cheese in with the tuna mixture (so it melts throughout) – but you’re welcome to sprinkle some on top too!

1 (170 g) can tuna packed in water, drained

½ cup (125 mL) sweet pea pesto recipe

2 tbsp (30 mL) mayonnaise

2 tbsp (30 mL) California Raisins (click here for more delicious recipes using California Raisins)  

1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped green onion

1/2 cup (125 mL) grated quality aged cheddar

2 slices lightly toasted bread and/or buns (cut in half)

1 tbsp (15 mL) softened butter 

Stir together tuna, pesto, mayonnaise, raisins, green onions and cheese. Arrange bread evenly on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread butter evenly on bread. Top each piece of bread evenly with tuna mixture. Place on middle oven rack – under the broiler until the tops are golden and cheese has started to melt – about 3 minutes. Makes 2 servings. If you’re feeding a larger crowd – this recipes doubles easily.  

Sweet Pea Pesto Pasta

Simple and flavourful at its finest!!

1 (450 g) box Italpasta Artisan Spaghetti

Sweet Pea Pesto recipe (recipe above)

Garnish: quality parm, olive oil & fresh cracked pepper

Cook Pasta according to package directions. Toss cooked pasta with sweet pea pesto. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese, drizzle of olive oil and pepper. Enjoy! For more ‘bulk’ add sliced grilled chicken breast and halved grape tomatoes. 

DYK: Italpasta is made right here in Canada with 100% Canadian wheat! Click here for more information.

Charmaine is the host of “In Char’s Kitchen” on YourTV Muskoka and regular guest on: Rogers IN StudioRogers Daytime OttawaCTV Morning Live OttawaCHCH Morning Live and Breakfast Television sharing her love and enthusiasm for all things food, cooking and fitness.

Most importantly; Charmaine is the mother of two active boys; Tyler & Colgan.

Charmaine understands the importance of preparing healthy, wholesome dishes all while keeping budget and time in mind.

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Charmaine’s Kitchen Built By: All About Kitchens 705-646-0347 or visit  www.allaboutkitchens.com