Mint and Tarragon Pea Dip/Spread

Written by Eydie Desser

I have a lot of mint and tarragon in my garden and the Farmer’s market provided lots of fresh shelling peas. Putting these ingredients together seemed like a really good idea! The tarragon is used in the water in which the peas are cooked and adds just a hint of its essence. Just enough to give the dip a little something special. Use this as a side dish, or spread for a wrap, use it for bruschetta topped with roasted cherry tomatoes – the uses are endless.


  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 TB vegetable stock or water
  • ¼ cup packed mint leaves, chopped + 1 sprig
  • 1 sprig, tarragon
  • 1 lb. fresh or frozen shelled peas
  • 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. Chile de Arbol flakes, heat 1 dried chile over medium heat to very lightly toast, then de-stem and take out seeds and chop finely.
  • ¼ tsp. salt (optional)


1- Heat a small pan over medium-high heat until hot, about 2 minutes, or when a piece of shallot sizzles when added to the pan.  Add shallots and turn the heat to medium. Stir to prevent from sticking. If needed, add a tablespoon or two of vegetable stock or water.  Continue cooking until very soft and translucent, about 5-10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute more, or until fragrant.

2- In a separate pot, add peas, the sprig of mint and sprig of tarragon, and just enough water to cover the peas by an inch.  Bring the water to a boil, then lower heat to medium and cook the peas until tender. Depending on how fresh they are, this might only take 2 or 3 minutes.  Check a pea after 2 minutes and see. You want them soft.

3- When cooked, drain the peas, reserving some of the cooking water.

4- In the bowl of a food processor or blender, process the peas, shallots, garlic, and chopped mint, black pepper and a pinch of Chile de Arbol, adding a little bit of the pea water to create a purée.

5- Taste and adjust seasoning.

6- Serve as a dip with crudité or any other options listed above.

Nutrition Per Serving:  80 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 70mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 6g sugar, 0g added sugar, 5g protein

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