Springtime brings a whole host of fresh flavors and peas are one of them. Most of the time I use frozen peas in recipes, but for the next month it’s easy to find a bag of fresh shelled peas at farmer’s markets and grocery stores. Fresh peas are so vibrant and have a brighter bite than frozen, and can be tossed into almost any seasonal dish, and I happen to love them in salads. Creating a chutney or a chunky mixture of vegetables with peas for a savory topping that pairs well with cheese can be so delightful, and in this recipe — served over creamy burrata and greens.
Fresh peas are poached in olive oil for just a few minutes, then strained and coarsely chopped in a food processor with garlic, lemon zest and a pinch of cayenne pepper. A few tablespoons of the poaching olive oil is spooned back into the pea chutney to create a flavorful sheen. I cut two balls of burrata cheese and placed them over baby arugula, so the creamy interior faces up and captures the pea chutney’s inviting goodness. The chutney is something you can prepare ahead of time, and assemble the complete salad right before enjoying. The fresh flavors of spring are so incredible.
1 1/2 cups fresh peas
1 1/2 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half
2 teaspoons fresh mint leaves, minced
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
3 cups of baby arugula
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
- In a saucepan, add olive oil and place over medium heat. When oil is warm to touch, add peas and poach for 3-5 minutes (long enough to cook, yet remain a vibrant green). Remove with slotted spoon and place in food processor.
- Add garlic to warm oil and cook for 3 minutes, remove with slotted spoon and place in food processor. Add mint leaves, lemon zest, salt and cayenne to food processor with pea mixture.
- Pulse 5 times and add 1/4 cup poaching oil. Pulse 2 times and spoon into a bowl (add more oil, if necessary). Set aside or cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a bowl, add arugula and toss with lemon juice and olive oil. Cut burrata in half and place on top of arugula.
- Spoon a good heaping tablespoon or two of pea chutney over burrata and serve (you will probably have leftover chutney to use on sandwiches or another salad). Enjoy!