Peas thrive In Northern California’s cool coastal climate and the season lasts from early spring through late summer. With this simple recipe, fresh peas are blanched and smashed into a savory and minty mix and smeared over olive-oil-brushed toast.
- 2 cups shelled peas (from 3 pounds of peas in the pod)
- 1 small clove garlic
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup mint leaves
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Red chili flakes
- Baguette or other hearty bread
- 8 ounces fromage blanc (or spreadable goat cheese)
- 3 ounces shaved Pecorino
- 1⁄2 cup pea or radish sprouts
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Make an ice bath in a large bowl to shock the peas. Blanch the shelled peas and garlic clove for 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to remove the beans from the pot and plunge them into the ice bath. Once the peas have cooled, drain in a colander.
- In a food processor, combine 11⁄2 cups of the blanched peas (reserve 1⁄2 cup), 4 tablespoons olive oil, garlic and mint and pulse until almost puréed, but still with a bit of texture. Fold in the reserved 1⁄2 cup of whole peas. Season with salt, pepper, lemon zest and chili flakes to taste.
- Slice the bread into 1⁄2-inch slices, and brush with olive oil. Broil bread until well toasted on both sides, approximately 2 minutes.
- Spread the cheese on the toasted bread (let cool first) , top with the pea mixture, shaved pecorino and sprouts. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and a pinch of chili flakes.