fresh english pea and ricotta crostini with mint infused oil

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I think the Brits are on to something with their mushy peas.  I had them for the first time in London two years ago when my sister and I went there for the first time and ate at Bumpkin in South Kensington, a fantastic farm to table pub close to the apartment we rented.  They were served with a bit of butter and fresh mint, but needed very little else – the freshness and subtle sweetness of the peas were the highlight, and tasted like spring.  After years of consuming canned or frozen peas like most other Americans, I finally realized how delicious this oft overlooked vegetable could be when consumed at the peak of freshness.

Now that the weather in San Francisco is finally starting to warm up, it feels like spring is in the air.  And no better indication that spring is around the corner than spotting fresh English peas in the pod at my local grocery store – as soon as I saw them, I immediately thought of mushy peas, but with a twist.  I make and eat crostini of all sorts – with fresh tomatoes and basil in the summer, wild mushrooms with Manchego in the fall, and avocados all year round – but for this season, I topped my crostini with a puree of fresh, blanched English peas and ricotta, drizzled with a mint-infused oil and finished with a shard of Parmesan.  The perfect way to welcome the first signs of spring in the city.

Recipe continued after the jump…

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Recipe

Serves 2

  • 6 slices of a large baguette, sliced about 1/3″ thick
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove of garlic, peeled
  • 1 pound fresh English peas in their pods {about 1 cup shelled}
  • 3 tablespoons ricotta
  • Sea salt or kosher salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, freshly cracked
  • Small handful of fresh mint
  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish {I used a vegetable peeler}

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line baking tray with parchment paper.  Place baguette slices on top.  Using a pastry brush, brush a light coat of olive oil on both sides of each baguette slice.  Place baking tray in oven and bake until slices are evenly browned {if necessary, flip over so both sides are evenly browned} – about 10 minutes total {although keep an eye out as they can burn easily}.   Remove from oven and let cook slightly.  Cut garlic clove in half and rub the cut side of the garlic clove on one side of each toasted baguette slice while the bread slices are still warm.

Boil water in a medium saucepan and salt.  Add shelled peas and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer peas to a bowl filled with ice water to stop the peas from cooking further.  Once cooled, drain peas into a colander.  Dry well with paper towels and add to a food processor.  Add ricotta, salt and pepper to taste, and 1-3 tablespoons of olive oil.  Process until desired consistency is achieved.  Spread pea and ricotta mixture onto toasted baguette slices.

In a small mortar, crush mint leaves using pestle.  Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and mix to combine.  Drizzle mint oil over crostini.  Top with shards of fresh Parmesan, if desired.

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33 Responses to fresh english pea and ricotta crostini with mint infused oil

  1. chef mimi says:

    I’ve actually had the mashed peas at bumpkin! Great restaurant. Your recipe and photos are beautiful!

  2. Cecile says:

    I totally agree with Chef Mimi – wonderful recipe and photos!!

  3. I absolutely loathe mushy peas. Never get them with my fish n chips. However, this looks delicious. Love the idea of ricotta cheese.

  4. such beautiful colors! i love how it all looks on the plate. lovely post.

  5. UltraViolet says:

    This looks so good! You know it’s spring when people start posting pea recipes. 🙂

  6. Darya says:

    Oh, it is still snowing here in Lille! I cannot wait for spring, peas, favas, and asparagus ! This looks delicious. Peas and mint, a winning combination

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Thank you Darya! I am sure the snow will be melting soon enough! I agree though – I absolutely love all of the spring vegetables…Hope it starts warming up there soon! xo

  7. A. Castro says:

    I am making this on Saturday! The weather is nice so we will sit outside and sip rose and eat peas!! Love this recipe. Thanks!!

  8. These are delightful canapes, peas are so refreshing and remind me so much of summer, – and the fact that I need to get sowing! Thanks!

  9. ladyredspecs says:

    Fabulous idea to show off fresh spring peas at their peak! Yum

  10. Lilly Sue says:

    Yummy! Love the beautiful green of these 🙂

  11. Michelle says:

    Isn’t spring grand?

    • fleurdeselsf says:

      Yes, it is! Living in a city now where I feel the seasons more than in southern California is very special – it does make you look forward to and appreciate spring in a new way. Spring is very grand indeed! xo

  12. Helena says:

    You’re recipes and photos are always so simple yet vibrant ! I love them !
    I’ve never tried the peas and mint combination but should definitely give it a try, sounds so fresh and tasty (anyway, fresh peas are delightful).
    How about your trip in Paris and breakfasts with croissants and petits pains 😉 ?

  13. Reblogged this on Haute Mom Living and commented:
    perfect for any brunch style event…

  14. Karen says:

    What a stunning appetizer. The crostini have to be delicious.

  15. chefconnie says:

    Mushy peas are fantastic. What a beautiful blog. I will definately be back.

  16. Carole says:

    Hi there. The current Food on Friday on Carole’s Chatter is collecting links to dishes using peas and/or green beans. I do hope you link this in. This is the link . Please do check out some of the other links – there are some good ones already. Cheers

  17. Carole says:

    Lindsay, thanks for joining in the fun with Food on Friday. I hope you enjoyed the other links and also that you come back to join in future Food on Fridays. Cheers

    PS Actually the older ones are still open for links – the most recent being Garlic, and Breakfast Dishes – you will find links for them in the sidebar if you would like to link in.

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