Walnut-sugar snap pea-mint Pesto (the old fashioned mortar & pestle way!)

Last night I made something new, which, as seen in the title, was a fresh pesto of walnuts, sugar snap peas, and mint.  It was something very new for me to prepare and was inspired by a recipe I saw on my Facebook feed.  I’m never able to follow recipes without making changes, refuse to measure, and the local stores didn’t help matters: thus the pesto became my own recipe completely.

The FB recipe called for walnuts, mint leaves, pea shoots, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Of course the H-Mart across the street didn’t have pea shoots or walnuts, but I was already dead set on having some sort of fresh pesto!  I bought a clove of garlic, oregano, and mint then walked a couple of blocks to a big Chinese grocery (I think it is called GW?)  There I saw sugar snap peas and decided they would do.  Walnuts were nowhere to be found in the snack isle aside from some that were candied and unsuitable.  I settled on a package of pine nuts although they weren’t shelled, gah.  I was so hungry by now!  Luckily, on my way to the cashiers, I saw two options of shelled walnuts.  Once I was home I happily set about the preparations confident that I’d be eating soon.  Wrong.

Years ago I purchased a Jenn Air “attrezzi” copper clad blender (and mixer.)  It was quite the score off of eBay since they were discounted and discontinued but beautiful.  They worked very, very well too.  Unfortunately the kitchens in the last few places I’ve lived haven’t scored well in the countertop department.  My last kitchen was straight out of the ’30s, which was endearing, but there was no counter at all.  So, the blender and mixer were both rather inaccessible and infrequently used all this time.

After washing all the produce, toasting the walnuts, and putting some of the ingredients in the blender I tried to turn it on.  Nope!  It was dead, dead, dead.  D:  By now I was starving and very, very frustrated.  I tried the other power cord and a different outlet but to no avail.  Then I Googled, found that some other people had asked about the same trouble, but no one ever gave an answer.  Finally I chatted with customer support, but all they told me was that nothing could be done since the product was discontinued.  😦

I returned to the kitchen, stomach growling, husband cranky with hunger, and stared at the big pile of produce (of course I had begun making enough for several suppers!)  What to do??

I resorted to the original pesto making method: mortar and pestle, and to be honest it wasn’t too bad.  My only wish would be to have a much larger mortar since I had to resort to using a mixing bowl.

The ingredients:

pesto ingredients

Toasting the walnuts a bit:

toasting walnuts

The pesto:

the pesto

Finished, with a bit of parmesan:

walnut-pea-mint pesto

At least after all that effort it was absolutely delicious, and I have a few containers in the fridge for quick meals.  That will really help during the next week or so of moving stress.  I used only about four cloves of garlic, by the way, and I added a good amount of olive oil. The oregano was just something that I thought would be nice added to the mix.

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