It’s taken me a while to feel inspired to cook spring recipes due to the move/renos and the on-again, off-again spring weather (ahem, fresh blanket of snow last week), but now I can say it finally feels like spring. Today also happens to be Earth Day which is even more reason to eat some plants. I love this time of the year and it’s been fun experiencing spring with a backyard again! Oh how I missed having a backyard. The tulips and daffodils are coming up, the frisky red squirrel is trying its best to take down our bird feeder, and Sketchie is sniffing the spring air through the screen door while the birds, bunnies, and squirrels drive him insane. It’s a good time of year.
Now that we’re starting to get settled into the new house, I’m finding my way back to the kitchen and away from the Indian food take-out menu (at least some of the time). The kitchen is slowly starting to feel like home, complete with fresh tea and vanilla extract stains on the laminate countertops (those were not designed for an avid cook, I tell you! ahhh) and the padded chef’s mat underneath my feet. Every time I cook in there, I get a bit more familiar with my new space and I find myself cursing less and less as I search for misplaced kitchen tools. Rome wasn’t built in a day, you know.
This recipe is an ultra-fresh take on pasta primavera – a spring vegetable pasta dish. Rather than relying on heavy pasta for a spring recipe, I decided to lighten things up with a fresh carrot “pasta”, which is simply julienned carrots. Obviously, the carrot pasta tastes nothing like actual pasta, but I promise you won’t miss it one bit! You’ll be feeling light and energized after eating this rather than sleepy and sluggish. I plan on making a seasonal summer version and a fall version to follow so keep your eyes peeled for those recipes later this year.
So what’s in this delightful spring dish? As per my usual style, it’s loaded with fresh vegetables. Leek, garlic, asparagus, and peas are sautéed with some pink salt, pepper, and olive oil. Ignore the snap peas in the photo above, I opted not to include them in this dish (but feel free to improvise if you’d like). Then I whipped up an incredible batch of pesto – my nut-free Sun-dried Tomato Basil Hemp Pesto adapted from the pesto in my cookbook. Kale can be used instead of basil if you prefer. It’s packed with protein thanks to the hemp seeds and it’s completely nut- and dairy-free without giving up that creamy, luxurious texture that makes pesto so great.
Once the vegetables are tender, I stir in the pesto. This is when things go from good to mind-blowing; a simple spring veggie sauté is transformed into something decadent. It’s one of those I-can’t-stop-eating-this-straight-from-the-skillet dishes. Hold me back! If you can share, it’s the perfect amount for two veggie-loving people – decadent but light, simple to make, and packed with veggies. I swear I felt the baby bust out a flutter kick dance recital after I ate it.
Glowing Green "Pasta" Primavera
This is my take on a lightened-up version of pasta primavera - a spring vegetable pasta dish. Rather than using pasta, I opted for fresh carrot pasta which is simply carrots that are julienned into very thin strand-like noodles. This is the julienne peeler that I use. The vegetables are coated with a decadent, but nut- and diary-free sun-dried tomato hemp pesto and it transforms this dish into something decadent and special.
FOR THE PRIMAVERA:
- 2-3 large carrots, peeled and julienned
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 leek, thinly sliced into rounds and rinsed off
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends broken off and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas.
SUN-DRIED TOMATO BASIL-HEMP PESTO:
- 1 small clove garlic
- 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1⁄4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 1⁄4 cup hulled hemp seeds
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- Scant 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt or pink Himalayan sea salt, or to taste
- With a julienne peeler, peel the carrots into thin, spaghetti-like strands. Cover with a damp tea towel or damp paper towel to avoid it drying out.
- Add oil to a large skillet or wok, and preheat over medium. Add sliced leek and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add a couple pinches of salt and several grounds of pepper.
- Add the asparagus to the skillet and saute for around 8 minutes more, until tender. Increase heat if necessary. Finally, stir in the peas and cook until heated throughout.
- Meanwhile, make the pesto. Add the garlic into a food processor and process until minced. Now add in the basil and sun-dried tomatoes and process again until smooth. Finally, add the rest of the ingredients and process again until combined and smooth.
- Stir all the pesto into the vegetable skillet mixture and cook until heated throughout. Season to taste.
- Serve the vegetable pesto mixture on top of the carrot pasta.
Note: If you'd like to add more protein to this dish, I recommend French green lentils. Edamame would work nicely too.
Nutrition Information(click to expand)
Lastly, I’d like to pass on some new cookbook reviews and interviews from these lovely bloggers:
Kim @ Our Fresh Kitchen (interview)
Valerie @ Vbouv (multiple recipe reviews)
Melissa @ It’s Got Vegan In It (review)
Ari @ Abe’s Market (interview)
Bianca @ Vegan Crunk (review, recipe)
Lauren @ Lauren Lives Healthy (review)
Alex @ Vegetarian Snob (review, recipe, giveaway)
Jess @ The Wellness Warrior (interview)
Richa @ Vegan Richa (review, recipe)
If I missed any of your reviews please let me know and I’ll be sure to add them to my book page.
I made just a few minor tweaks to this recipe (in order to use up ingredients already in my kitchen) and it was absolutely delicious! I substituted walnuts for hemp seeds and spaghetti squash for carrots. I used dry sundried tomatoes that I soaked in water for 10 minutes, so I added another tablespoon of olive oil to the pesto. When I make it again I’ll either make about 50% more pesto or use fewer veggies to intensify the incredible pesto flavor.
I LOVED this recipe. I added pan fried paneer for a bit of extra protein and served it on top of spaghetti squash. It was surprisingly easy and unsurprisingly delicious.
Just made this last night- the pesto was amazing. Even my partner who can be rather skeptical of vegan food was impressed (and finished the pan off when I wasn’t looking!). I added pasta and instead of using asparagus, used shallots and also added walnuts to the pesto. Delicious! Thanks for the great recipe. :)
Omg so much yum! I’m eating this as I type!
How much pesto does this make?
We just made this and are eating it now. It’s delicious! Used broccoli instead of asparagus since I don’t like asparagus, spiralized the carrots and the sundried tomatoes were not oil packed. The fresh basil and lemon make it quite flavorful.
I have been following your blog since January–thank you so much for your delicious recipes and sweet commentary! this is one of my favorites, I have made it as is and sometimes I will put it on top of spaghetti squash.
You are awesome!
Your site and recepies are amazing!Thank you very much for sharing them!You are an artist I believe! :)))
sorry *recipes :)
I made this tonight. (I served it with zucchini noodles). It was amazing! My very picky husband deemed it one for the favorites list! Thanks, Angela!!
Delicious! My husband and 2 year old daughter love this dish. I made it with edamame for the extra protein, and it was so filling, we could hardly finish it! I can’t wait for your new cookbook!
Thank you so much! My transition to vegan has been rough for my family (6 years old, 8, 32, & 86). I got 3 compliments and an empty plate from the picky eater (which is pretty much a compliment ;-) ) when I made them this. It’s going into my rotation! :-D
I made this phenomenal dish last night – it truly was decadent. Two suggestions: I don’t think the extra olive oil is necessary in the pesto… the sundried tomatoes had enough (if you are concerned about fat). Also, I steamed the carrots slightly so they would be warm, and I wasn’t excited about the raw carrots… and they were fantastic and bursting with flavor. Overall an awesome dinner! I doubled it so I could have some for lunches… YUM!
I loved making this recipe! This is a non-vegan household and I was looking to introduce some vegan recipes. It was fun and easy to make! I even got the pickiest eater in the house to say he liked it!
this was absolutely magical and I loved it. I combined it with whole wheat pasta instead of carrots simply because I love carbs. I also served this to a big crowd of carnivores and they ate it all up! It’s easy to make and very rewarding
My daughter and I made our second recipe from your site today. We bought all the ingredients from the local health store and farmers’ market. The store assured me ‘hemp seeds only come like this’ so we proceeded as they were.
I think our pesto had a crunch of husk!!! Not ideal but tasted nice and we laughed a lot. Our search for hemp without husk continues. Fun afternoon and dinner.
Oh, and we had De Cecco spaghetti with the sauce and shredded carrot salad to make it a fuller dinner. Great! 5 stars with unhusked seeds. :-)
Haha, oh nooo! It’s great you still enjoyed the recipe, though (husks and all!). I’m wishing you all the best luck on your continuing quest for hulled hemp. :)
This looks delish! I am going to try it next week! Can you suggest what I would substitute tomatoes for? I can’t eat tomatoes and peppers (due to allergies).
Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe!
Hi Dana, I haven’t tried this yet, but you could probably omit the sun-dried tomatoes in the pesto if need be! You just might need to tweak the other ingredients to taste. I hope it turns out for you, please let us know!
I kind of messed mine up. I cooked the asparagus too long and in my rush to shovel this wonderfulness into my mouth, I completely forgot the peas. It was amazing even with my mistakes!!! I will experiment with zucchini noodles and maybe steam the carrots just a touch. I also sprinkled a little bit of the hemp seeds on top. Just yummy! Thank you for another wonderful recipe.
I’m glad it turned out well, Dani!
This recipe is amazing!!! And super easy! I normally like to follow recipes exactly how it is but this time i did some things slightly different. I added celery, as I had some on hand. Added a little extra of all the veggies to make a bigger batch. To make a little extra sauce I added entire jar of sundried tomatoes, extra garlic clove, alittle extra water, and 1/2 cup of hemp seeds. Made perfect amount and made it extra saucy! I drained most of the oil out of sundried tomato jar, just because I didn’t want so much oil. Bought pre shredded carrots, they are called ” Match Stix” on the bag. Saved time and went perfect with the meal! And lastly I used grapeseed oil instead of olive oil! Absolutly delicous!!
So glad you decided to experiment, Kathy! It sounds like it was definitely a success. :)
I was looking for a salad type recipe that I could make for just my boyfriend and I as part of our bbq dinner Sat night and then bring to a picnic lunch (for 4 of us) Sun. Would this work if I double (or triple) the recipe, cook it all Sat night, store the leftovers separately (veggies and pesto) and then bring it to a picnic lunch on Sun?
This was absolutely delicious. I honestly wasn’t sure how good it would be as it was just so veggie heavy (and I’ve veggie averse!). But, we are trying to be healthier and eat more vegetarian dishes and I thought the recipe sounded interested. We were blown away by all the flavor! So glad to have stumbled across this blog.
I was tickled to see this recipe in this week’s Oh She Glows Newsletter since it was the first recipe I made when I crossed over to the plant-life. It was so fresh, easy and delicious – it changed my view of vegan food and made me an instant OSG fan.
I serve mine over brown basmati rice but I think you could serve this over anything and it will still be super yummy.
Thank you for all your amazing recipes Angela. They have been creating many of my meals for the past 2 years.
Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this lovely comment, Janet! You brought a huge smile to my face.
For just the green saute (without serving on carrots), would this be good served as a chilled side dish?
Hi Kat, Great question! I haven’t tried it myself, but I can’t see why not. If you try it as a chilled side dish, please let us know what you think :)
I love love love this recipe! I could eat this every day. Even as a vegan, I was deeply suspicious of the carrot noodles, (I like pasta OK!?) but it was soooo good. I can’t wait to bring it to a potluck, although I might eat it all before I get there. :)
I love this recipe so much. This is one of the first OSG recipes that I tried years ago for a group of people. Its amazing. Everyone loved it, even the carnivores. I just want to say to Angela, keep up the amazing work. I have both of your books which (of my EXTENSIVE cookbook collection) are two of the three jewels that have a permanent home on my counter. Your recipes have really made my life easier, especially in pleasing those friends and family members that are convinced that healthy means boring!
Hey Kate, So happy you all loved this recipe so much! And thank you for the kind words about my cookbooks…I’m so honoured to hear that you love them so much! Big hugs
I make this with spaghetti squash— YUM!
Just made this tonight – over zoodles! Added in chickpeas for a bit more protein. DELISH!
This is delicious and have made it a number of times. The pesto flavor is to die for!!! I actually crave the flavor of this dish. Not complicated to make, so go ahead & give it a try ladies/gents.
Hi Sue, thanks so much for your review! I’m glad you enjoy it so much :)
Why can’t I find this recipe Glowing Green “Pasta” Primavera on the app?
Hi Renata, Not every recipe from this site is on the app, but we’re adding as many as we can overtime. Thanks for the suggestion!
Super good and easy to make.
Absolutely delicious!!!! I didn’t have peas, so I used fresh green beans from our garden. Will definitely make again. The basil and sun-dried tomatoes didn’t get smooth … once I added the rest (lemon juice, oil, water) it improved.