It's happened. I have a horrid case of Spring Fever and it has no intention of going away. Really though, it's not my fault. I blame it on the random unseasonably warm days we've had. And the cherry and plum trees that are already hanging heavy with blossoms. And the fact that, slowly but surely, the spring produce is coming to market. The only remedy for Spring Fever this early on is this smashed pea bruschetta - there is simply no other solution.
cut into 1/4-inch slices
divided plus more for crostini
zested and juiced
about 1/2 cup
Heat oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Pour enough olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet to just coat it, add the baguette slices and toss to coat. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake in a single layer until crostini are toasted and crisp, about 15 minutes, turning crostini halfway through.
The crostini can be made up to 4 days ahead; store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Meanwhile, place ricotta in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, all of the lemon zest except a few pinches, a large pinch of salt, and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Stir vigorously with a spoon or whisk until the ricotta is light and airy. Taste and add more olive oil, lemon zest, salt, and pepper, as desired. Set aside until ready to use.
The ricotta mixture can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. Store refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use.
Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the peas and cook until just tender, about 3 to 4 minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water.
The pea mixture (without the herbs) can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. Store refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use; fold in the herbs just before serving.
Transfer cooled peas to a medium nonreactive bowl, lightly mash peas with a potato masher or the back of a fork. Add olive oil, Pecorino cheese, half the lemong juice, and herbs, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
To serve, top each crostini with about 1 tablespoon of ricotta, a spoonful of peas, and the remaining lemon zest. Drizzle with a good quality extra virgin lemon-infused olive oil (or truffle oil would work too) and serve.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp