Simple Mint Pea Dip

Spring has finally arrived here in Copenhagen and with the trees about to burst with leaves, and grass totally gleaming, I am feelin’ the need for fresh. Does that happen to any of you as soon as the season turns? It is one of the most dramatic things I notice in myself anyway – my bod on the loudspeaker to my brain: EAT GREEN STUFF.
My lettuce intake is through the roof, as I am craving leafy things like nobody’s business. Asparagus is a regular on the menu since it’s really only at its peak for the next few weeks. And peas. Lots and lots of sweet green peas winding up in all the little corners of my plate; tucked in the curl of a baby spinach leaf, a sparkling green pop in a quinoa salad.

I grew up absolutely detesting peas, as they were always served to me completely mushy and nearly gray from over-boiling. Why do people cook them that way?! When I finally got over my serious childhood trauma, I had another go at them, prepared them properly, and fell in love. Green peas are such a delight in their sweet, bright taste, and have a spring-crisp freshness that is welcomed by a winter-weary palette.

Pea Appreciation
I think peas are a pretty underestimated vegetable, considering they are veritable storehouses of essential vitamins and minerals. That’s right. A measly ½-cup serving provides more than 20 percent of the RDA for vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese! True! Peas are a good source of iron, folate, vitamin B1, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, and copper. You’ll also be getting a serious dose of soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol and control blood sugar.

Peas offer up some heart-healthy vegetarian protein, providing 9 grams per cup. They are not a complete protein however, so make sure to combine them with a whole grain to ensure you are getting the complete essential amino acid profile. Try green peas in a brown rice or quinoa salad, or hey – this Simple Mint Pea Dip on rye toasts! Genius.

Here’s a random, yet important fact for women trying to get pregnant: green peas contain an anti-fertility compound, m-xylohydroquinone, so it may be wise to avoid them.

Simple Mint Pea Dip is totally tasty and bursting spring-time freshness. The pea, mint and lemon is just such a reliable combo (which you may have noticed by now, as I’ve posted two recipes already with practically the same ingredients…what can I say? I’m consistent). The tahini is optional, but lends a very lovely creaminess to the spread, which otherwise may not be substantial enough for the hummus fans out there. If you like your dips on the lighter side, leave it out.

This dip is also a chinch to make and is beautifully versatile. Serve it simply like I have on toasted rye bread, or make a complete sandwich by adding avocado, sprouts, and spring lettuce – green!
This also makes a great dip for raw veggies. Try a spring mix of asparagus, carrots, and radishes.

Simple Mint Pea Dip
3 cups fresh or frozen green peas
zest of 1 un-waxed, organic lemon
3 Tbsp. lemon juice (approx. ½ lemon)
1 large clove garlic
¼ cup packed mint leaves
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1-2 Tbsp. raw tahini (optional, but makes the dip creamy)
¼ tsp. sea salt

Directions:
1. If using frozen peas, leave out to thaw completely, or cook them in step 2. If using raw peas, skip over to step 3.
2. To blanche the peas (this enhances their sweetness), bring a pot of water to the boil, add peas and cook for 2-3 minutes (no more!). Plunge them into an ice bath or very cold water to halt the cooking process. Set aside.
3. Put whole clove of garlic in a food processor and pulse to mince. Add the remaining ingredients and blend on high to puree.
4. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days, but try to consume as quickly as possible.

Well, the travel bug came back so I am off to Budapest tomorrow morning! So excited. I’ve heard pretty discouraging things about the Hungarian veggie food prospects, but I’ve got my little pack of dried goods with me to cook up if we reach emergency status! I hope to discover something rad to report back, so stayed tuned. So long.

Copyright 2012 My New Roots at mynewroots.blogspot.com

34 comments

  1. Pingback: More, peas! - Irenekly
  2. Pingback: More, peas! « irenekly
  3. orly

    shalommm… love your recipes!! everything looks great and yum!
    this spread looks good. but do you have a recipe for the dark bread? looks good.. and i love making different kind of bread. my blog is in hebrew.. but have a look.

    thanks, Orly

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  6. Pingback: Minted Sweet Pea Dip | Pamela Salzman & Recipes
  7. Isobelle

    I absolutely love peas!
    I grew a bunch in my garden this summer and had to freeze a lot of them to store. I will have to try this. It sounds and looks wonderful!

  8. fashion blah blah

    i’ve just finished making it and it’s oh so delicious, thanks! Instead of mint leaves i added fresh basil leaves from my balcony and the taste is amazing. Thanks! It’s a great idea for a starter as well, something to spread on homemade bread during a dinner with friends!

  9. Sarah B

    Hi Nikulya!

    Dried peas need to be cooked before using and they are not considered raw. Frozen peas are not cooked and are raw until you steam or blanch them. I would recommend using fresh or frozen peas in place of your dried ones for this recipe. The dried ones are better for soups and stews.

    Good luck!
    Best, Sarah B

  10. Nikulya :)

    I just bought some dried peas.should i steam them at least or cook them? frozen peas are cooked arent they? I guess i have not experimented w/peas much before… :((

  11. The Cafe Sucre Farine

    Wow, this is so pretty and sounds delicious.I love tahini and always keep some in my refrig but don’t have too many recipes in which to use it. As I read your post I was thinking of so many different ways to use this lovely dip. I can’t wait to try it! Your photos are great! Happy Springtime!

  12. Ann-Louise

    Holy moly! What a super Spring dip. I’ve never tried the combo peas and mint but you’ve convinced me to give it a shot. Thanks for the useful info about the pea as well. My 20 month year old daughter loves peas and this make me feel really good about giving them to her all the time. :)

  13. Imola

    Oh, I hope you’re having a good time in Budapest, spring is so beautiful there!
    I wish I had read your post before, I could’ve given you some advice about where to get vegetarian food. But if you’re still there, I would absolutely recommend you to go to Govinda (I know, that’s not really about Hungarian food, but delicious!)
    Good luck and have fun!

  14. Sarah Morgan

    Hi Sarah, I just found your blog via Miss Moss and it is so wonderful! I’m a vegetarian, and I’m always excited to find new, healthy recipes.

    This pea dip looks delicious! I’ll certainly be trying this and will be back frequently!

  15. City Share

    This sounds fabulous. So fresh! Our calendars say Spring here in New York City, but the weather isn’t cooperating. I think this might be just the thing to help us feel like Spring.

  16. Egle

    I love love peas and mint! This dip would be absolutely suitable for me. Can’t wait for fresh peas to come to season here, in Lithuania. Gorgeos as always!

    Thanks Sarah for being out there in blogosphere ;)

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