Sweet Pea-Basil Pesto and Queso

Makes 4 servings


  • Queso
  • 1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup shredded Oaxaca cheese
  • 1 cup Fontina cheese
  • Ground white pepper, to taste
  • Sugar snap peas, for garnish
  • Pea shoots, for garnish
  • Microgreens, for garnish
  • Crostini, for serving
  • Mini cucumbers, quartered, for serving
  • Radishes, for serving
  • Pesto
  • 1 cup shelled English peas, plus additional for garnish
  • ½ cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste


  1. For queso, in a small saucepan heat milk over medium-low heat until warm, stirring occasionally.
  2. In medium saucepan melt butter over low heat until small bubbles form. Whisk in flour and continue whisking until mixture thickens. Slowly whisk in warm milk. Cook and whisk over low heat for 10 minutes. Slowly stir in Oaxaca and Fontina cheeses; stir until completely melted. Remove from heat; season to taste with white pepper.
  3. For pesto, in a small food processor combine 1 cup English peas, basil, garlic and lemon juice. Cover and pulse until coarsely chopped. With food processor running, add olive oil in a thin stream. Then pulse until a smooth pesto forms, stopping to scrape down sides occasionally. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  4. To serve, transfer queso to a serving bowl. Swirl pesto into warm queso. Garnish with sugar snap peas, pea shoots and microgreens, if desired. Serve with crostini, cucumbers and radishes.

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