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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
 Vegetarian Cooking with Zel

This month, I would like to share a very friendly and people-loving recipe from my cookbook Vegan for the Holidays. Asian Pea Pistachio Butter makes a great holiday appetizer spread, but it's also people-friendly enough to show off its versatility during the spring and summer months, too.

I love the idea of challenging myself to see how many ways I can take a single recipe and stretch the imagination, putting the spread to work in different configurations. During the holiday season I spooned the spread onto a platter and used the back of a spoon to form it into a star or a Christmas tree. But wouldn't it be silly to serve something formed into a Christmas tree in the steamy hot month of August?

Instead, those peas and pistachios whispered into my ear that they yearned for romance. So I turned them into the leaves of a tall, stately coconut palm tree swaying in the tropical breeze. And for the ripe coconuts in the tree, I used Kalamata olives. Here's the dynamic summertime presentation I came up with.

If you're a shoot-from-the-hip, last-minute cook, you'll be glad you have this zesty starter in your recipe file. Just remember to thaw the peas and you'll have this appetizer on the table in 5 minutes flat. Just add the crackers.

Asian Pea-Pistachio Pea Butter


Yield: about 1 1/4 cups (300 ml); 5 to 6 servings

    1 1/2 cups (360 ml) frozen peas, thawed
    1/2 cup (120 ml) roasted pistachios
    2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
    2 teaspoons tamari
    2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon 5-spice powder
    Pinch cayenne
    1 whole radish, radish slices, or radish rose

  1. Put the peas, pistachios, sesame seeds, soy sauce, lemon juice, 5-spice powder, and cayenne in the food processor. Process for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the mixture is thick, well blended, and lightly textured, stopping occasionally to scrape down the work bowl.
  2. Spoon the spread into a serving bowl, garnish with the radish, if desired, and serve with your favorite crackers on the side.

You can also put this spread to work as a sandwich filling or a garnish over grain dishes

Click here for past cookingwithzel@home.comeonin recipes

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