If I had a recipe hall of fame, this one would be the first inductee…
I first wrote about smashed peas with mint, a classic spring pairing, in 2010, after my friend Todd served it to me in dip form alongside a bowl of pita chips. I have since deconstructed the dip – lightly fork-mashing the peas, mint, Parm, and olive oil – and served as a side next to fried fish; I’ve thinned it out to make a pesto and tossed with spaghetti; and I’ve done it how you see above. Basically, spread on crusty bread, avocado-toast style, and topped with dollops of ricotta. When prepared this way, it is absolutely dinner, and a simple one at that, especially if you serve it with a seven-minute egg, as I did last night.
Note: When it comes to green peas, remember that fresh, sweet English peas are elusive even in peak season, and you are almost always better off going with their frozen counterparts, which are flash-frozen at optimum ripeness. This is not the case with sugar snaps and snow peas; pick those up at the farmer’s market by the bushel!
Smashed Pea Toasts with Ricotta
Makes 4 medium toasts
1 cup frozen peas, completely thawed (you can run under warm water in a strainer to expedite)
2/3 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
2 heaping tablespoons fresh Parmesan
juice from 1/2 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more drizzling
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 slices crusty sourdough (sliced not too thin, not too thick)
4-5 tablespoons whole milk ricotta
freshly ground black pepper
Add peas, mint, Parmesan, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt to a blender or a mini food processor. Process until it comes together and is the consistency of guacamole.
Meanwhile, toast the sourdough. Divide smashed peas among the four toasts, then dollop with a spoonful or two of ricotta. Drizzle with olive oil and season with a few grinds of black pepper.
PS 10 quick spring dinners, and a toast party for breakfast.