Main Attraction, Vegetarian

Pesto Hodge Podge


If you’re 20287183_1730580026970087_5883442141438779397_ofamiliar with Hodge Podge then I bet you’re an East Coaster! A true celebration of summer, it’s a combination of perfectly new carrots, potatoes, beans and peas in cream sauce, a seemingly simple dish that is just so much tastier than you’d ever imagine.

Lately though, I’ve heard that my dairy-free friends are feeling left out of the party. While you can easily substitute olive oil and the vegetable cooking water for the butter and milk called for in the original recipe, here’s an even easier (and dare I say even tastier) way!

Traditional pesto calls for Parmesan cheese but with the fresh basil, garlic, and creaminess from the sunflower seeds it just isn’t necessary. Of course if you’re not avoiding dairy go ahead and add a half cup or so to the finished pesto.

Pesto Hodge Podge
If you grow garlic and have scapes to use up, they are a great addition! Just chop them into 1″ lengths and add them with the beans. You could also add zucchini, asparagus, onions; pretty much any vegetable your garden or market is throwing at you.

For the Pesto:
1 cup (loosely packed) Basil Leaves or 1/2 cup Basil and 1/2 cup Parsley
1 clove Garlic
2 tablespoons Sunflower Seeds
teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Olive Oil

In a food processor, combine the basil, optional parsley, garlic, sunflower seeds and salt. Pulse to finely chop the herbs and garlic, then turn the machine on and stream in the olive oil. Process until smooth.

For the Vegetables:
1 lb. New Potatoes, halved if large
1 lb. New Carrots, cut into thick slices
1/2 lb. Sugar Snap Peas, stems removed (or use 1/2 lb shelled peas)
1 lb. Green or Yellow Beans, stems removed and snapped in half

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and drop in the potatoes and carrots. After 10 minutes, check the potatoes. When they are almost tender, add the beans. Simmer for another few minutes, then turn off the heat and add the peas. Leave the vegetables in the pot off the heat for five more minutes, then drain. Return the vegetables to the pot, scrape in the pesto mixture and combine thoroughly.