Peas often get a bad rap, but this dish transforms them into something fresh, bright and delicious. It doesn't hurt that crusty bread and creamy ricotta are involved, of course. This is the perfect appetizer to pass around at any gathering!
Kitchen equipment required: A blender or food processor
Technique tip: Blanching the peas, by placing them in a bowl of ice water after boiling, prevents them from cooking further and preserves their bright green color.
Swap option: If you're not a fan of peas, your favorite store-bought pesto would work well as a replacement.
- 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
- 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 basil leaves, roughly chopped (plus more for sprinkling)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, plus more for toasting bread
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 French baguette
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400º F.
2. Cut bread into 1-inch diagonal slices and place on a baking sheet. Brush both sides with olive oil and toast for about 10 minutes, until it begins to turn golden (I like to flip hallway through).
3. In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Prepare a bowl of ice water.
4. Add peas to boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and immediately place in ice water, letting sit for a few minutes. Then drain.
5. Place peas, garlic, basil, salt, pepper and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil into a blender or food processor. Blend until peas reached a smashed consistency.
6. In a small bowl, add the ricotta and stir in the honey and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
7. Assemble the toasts by spreading ricotta first, then smashed peas and sprinkle with more basil and red pepper flakes.