One of my favorite things about the weather changing is all of the delicious produce that is coming into season. Spring onions, asparagus and of course one of my all time favorites, peas. This pea and ricotta toast showcases some of my favorite spring produce, and equally as important, what I love most about cooking; fresh seasonal ingredients left alone to simply shine. No fancy techniques. No fancy tools required. Just beautiful ingredients at their peak, doing their thing!
When coming up with this recipe, I really wanted to make sure the these beautiful spring peas were the star. I love how sweet and tender fresh spring peas are, so I wanted to leave them alone as much as I could. To make the ricotta mixture, I simply added in some fresh peas, shallots and lemon zest to the creamy ricotta, and blended it all together. Just this alone is enough to make me happy. It’s honestly so simple, yet so delicious. You could add it to just about about anything, but am feeling a little inspired to try it out on a grilled pizza (how good does that sound?!). I love how the sweet peas aren’t overpowered by the light creamy ricotta and how the lemon helps brighten everything up.
To top off the ricotta, I made a simple salad of fresh peas, thinly sliced radishes, mint, lemon juice and olive oil. I tossed it all together and then generously topped each piece of toast. For an extra garnish, and pop of green, I added pea, radish and sunflower shoots from a local herb and garden center here in Connecticut, Gilberties. I love ALL of the Gilberties products, but their arugula and micro greens are hands down my favorite. I can usually find Gilberties at our local farmer’s market (which is my favorite way to shop), but thankfully for all of us locals most of our grocery stores now carry a wide variety of their products. I love supporting local business, especially ones that are creating such beautiful produce like they are.
I am so excited about the way this little dish came together in such a big way. This pea and ricotta toast is so simple and easy to prepare, but packs in so many bright spring flavors. Wonderful for spring and summer entertaining, or simply for an afternoon snack. It’s everything spring should be, in one little bite.
If you’re looking for other spring recipes, be sure to check out my cous cous salad with spring vegetables. One of the most popular recipes here on the blog!
- 2 cups of fresh spring peas
- 4-6 radishes, thinly sliced
- 4-6 sprigs of mint
- 2 lemons
- 1 cup of full fat ricotta
- 3 shallots
- 4 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 baguette (or bread of your choice)
- 1 tbsp of butter
- ¼ cup of pea shoots (or other micro green of your choice)
- bring a large pot filled with water to a boil. Add and cook peas for one minute, quickly remove and blanch in an ice bath for 2-3 minutes. Drain, and set peas aside
- In a food processor, add 1 cup of ricotta, shallots, 3 tbsp. of olive oil, the zest and juice of one lemon, salt/pepper. Pulse a few times until shallot is finely chopped and all ingredients are fully incorporated. Add 1 cup of peas and a handful of mint. Pulse 5-6 times for 3 seconds each to blend in peas. Don't over blend. You want it to still be a little chunky and to see pieces of the peas. Taste and adjust seasoning. Scoop ricotta/pea mixture into a bowl and set aside.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pea and radish salad.
- Thinly slice 4-6 radishes and place in a bowl. Add a cup of the freshly blanched peas, a handful of mint, the zest and juice of one lemon, 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt/pepper and gently toss.
- To make the toast points, slice a baguette on an angle into ¼ inch pieces. In a cast iron skillet add a tbsp of butter and olive oil, each. Over low heat, melt the butter and add the sliced baguette. Cook until both sides are golden brown on each side (about 5 minutes each side) and set aside
- To assemble the toast, place a 1 large tbsp of the ricotta mixture on each baguette slice, top with a generous spoonful of the pea salad, add a few pea shots right on top it all of with a light drizzle of oil oil.
- Serve and enjoy!