su-English Pea Toasts image

Photo: Laura Dart

YieldsServes 4 as an appetizer
AuthorJoshua McFadden

"A perfect showcase for the early-season peas, this toast can be an appetizer, a first course, or a light main course," says chef Joshua McFadden of Ava Gene's in Portland. "A layer of fresh sheep's cheese, sweet and mild, would be so nice with the peas, but I also use my go-to cheese topping, whipped ricotta."

How to Make It

Step 1
1

Put shelled peas and onions in a bowl, squeeze on juice from half the lemon, and season generously with salt and pepper. Add mint, taste and adjust with more lemon, salt, or pepper, and then add 1/4 cup olive oil.

Step 2
2

Grill, broil, or toast bread on both sides. Spread fresh cheese onto each toast and arrange on plates. Tumble peas onto each toast, pressing lightly so that most of peas stick to cheese.

Step 3
3

Finish with a nice shower of grated Parmigiano and a thin ribbon of olive oil.

Ingredients

 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. English peas in their pods, shelled (1 1/2 to 2 cups peas)
 3 red spring onions or scallions, trimmed (including 1/2 in. off the green tops), thinly sliced on a sharp angle, soaked in ice water for 20 minutes, and drained well
 1 lemon, halved
  Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
 1 small handful mint leaves
  Extra-virgin olive oil
  4 1/2-in.-thick slices country bread
 1 cup fresh sheep cheese, fromage blanc, mild goat cheese, or whipped ricotta
  Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for grating

Directions

Step 1
1

Put shelled peas and onions in a bowl, squeeze on juice from half the lemon, and season generously with salt and pepper. Add mint, taste and adjust with more lemon, salt, or pepper, and then add 1/4 cup olive oil.

Step 2
2

Grill, broil, or toast bread on both sides. Spread fresh cheese onto each toast and arrange on plates. Tumble peas onto each toast, pressing lightly so that most of peas stick to cheese.

Step 3
3

Finish with a nice shower of grated Parmigiano and a thin ribbon of olive oil.

English Pea Toast