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 with ricotta – there is simply no other solution.
Smashed Pea Whipped Ricotta Crostini Recipe
- 1 (8 ounce) French baguette or whole wheat ciabatta cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 4 tablespoons olive oil divided plus more for crostini
- kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups shelled fresh or frozen peas
- 1 medium lemon zested and juiced
- 2 ounces finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese about 1/2 cup
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint, chervil, or tarragon
- 2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- lemon olive oil for garnish
- Bake The Crostini: Heat the 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.
- Whip The Ricotta: Meanwhile, place the 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.
- 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 to 4 minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water.
- Smash The Peas: 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 lemon juice, and herbs, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
- 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.