If you know me, then you know I have a thing for Piri Piri sauce. And, though I'm not a major chain restaurant girl, I make an exception for Nando's Peri Peri joint. Whenever I come across one, I do not pass go and head there immediately.
When we were filming Off Menu in Washington DC, I had dinner there twice in as many days and made sure to get the chicken with tons of mashed peas. The mashed peas are buttery like classic English mashed peas but have some herbs and a good amount of chili heat.
This Spring, I decided to take my favorite Smashed Pea Bruschetta and make a version reminiscent of Nando's. It's a little fancier but still just as comforting.
(about 8 ounces)
plus more for the toasts
zested and juiced
or white balsamic vinegar
plus more for garnish
small dice (can use Sriracha or another chili-garlic paste to taste)
peeled, pitted, and halved
Bake The Crostini: 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.
Cook The Peas: Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the peas and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water.
Pickle The Radishes: Meanwhile, using a mandoline thinly slice the radish about 1/8-inch thick. In a bowl mix the vinegar, 2 teaspoons of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt together until dissolved. Add the radishes and let sit for about 5 minutes. Drain off juice and set aside until ready to use.
Mash The Peas: Transfer cooled peas to a medium nonreactive bowl, lightly mash peas with a potato masher or the back of a fork. Add butter, olive oil, lemon juice, herbs, chili or chili-garlic pasted, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine then taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Assemble The Bruschetta: To serve, slice each avocado half thinly crosswise then gently push on it so it fans like a deck of cards. Top each crostini with a big spoonful of the pea mixture then top with about 1/4 of an avocado worth of slices. Top each toast with a big pinch of the radishes, drizzle with a good quality extra virgin olive oil, garnish with any remaining mint leaves, and serve.
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