Creamy Loaded Pea Pesto Appetizer with Belgian Endive Scoops

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Creamy Loaded Pea Pesto Appetizer with Belgian Endive Scoops

Our healthy appetizer is loaded with goodness. From the creamy pea pesto to tumbled toppings, its eye-candy appeal will lure the fussiest of eaters. Fresh spring herbs coupled with mouth-puckering lemon juice pop with flavour. We’ve suggested scooping into endive leaves, but you can also spread it on crispy baguette toasts for a quick and easy first bite. Dig in and enjoy!  

Ingredients

Pea pesto 

1 cup (250 mL) shelled fresh or frozen
and thawed sweet peas (see tip)

1 cup (250 mL) cannellini beans

1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh parsley, plus extra 

1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh mint 

2 garlic cloves, smashed and minced 

2 Tbsp (30 mL) nutritional yeast 

2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh lemon juice 

1/2 tsp (2 mL) maple syrup

1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt, plus extra

Generous pinch of cayenne pepper 

1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

Toppings

1/2 cup (125 mL) grape tomatoes, halved 

1/3 cup (80 mL) toasted pine nuts 

1/4 cup (60 mL) Kalamata olives, pitted 

1/4 cup (60 mL) Castelvetrano olives, pitted

1/4 cup (60 mL) crumbled feta or dairy-free alternative

Fruity extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling (optional)

6 Belgian endives, red and/or green, separated into leaves 

Directions

In high-speed blender or food processor, combine all pesto ingredients except oil. Pulse, stopping to scrape sides of bowl with spatula, until combined and beginning to break into a chunky paste. Gradually add oil and continue to pulse until pesto is very smooth. Add a splash of water, if needed, to make mixture smooth and creamy enough for scooping. Add more seasonings to taste, if you wish. Mixture can be stored in tightly covered container in refrigerator for a couple of days. 

To serve, spread pesto onto large serving platter. Scatter with tomatoes, pine nuts, olives, and feta. Alternatively, smear a generous dollop of pesto onto individual serving plates and scatter with equal amounts of toppings and fresh parsley sprigs. Drizzle with fruity olive oil. 

Spoon pea pesto and toppings with endive leaves for scooping.   

Tips:

  • Toss pea pesto and some of the toppings with pasta and serve with shavings of Parmesan. Delicious!
  • If using fresh peas, sauté in a little butter or oil with a dash of salt for 2 minutes or until soft but still bright green. Note that adding a smattering of salt helps peas retain their colour. 

Each serving contains: 324 calories; 15 g protein; 17 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 33 g total carbohydrates (4 g sugars, 16 g fibre); 298 mg sodium

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