Some people when they think of peas, remember sitting at a table as a child being reminded to eat their bland and slightly mushy plate of tiny green spheres. Not me, when I think of peas – it’s the fresh, slightly crunchy balls of spring that have mildly herby flavors and are delightful in so many recipes.
Pureeing freshly al dente peas with a little ricotta cheese creates an creamy blend that is similar to hummus, but with no chickpeas. I find this spread much more seasonal with a bit of Italian flair because of the combination of light cheeses.
The bright pea flavor with a hint of spice from the cayenne pepper, adds a perkiness to your palate and spreads so nicely over crackers, toasted bread, or with crunchy veggies, like carrots, fennel or celery. This bowl of green spread is perfect to serve after a golf or tennis outing, or for a casual get-together with friends or family and pairs nicely with a dry white wine.
1 10 ounce bag of fresh peas, or frozen defrosted
1/2 white onion, diced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 dashes cayenne pepper, about 1/8 teaspoon
1 ounce parmesan cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, peas and onion. Saute for 5 minutes, while stirring occasionally. Add thyme and stir. Continue to cook for 2 minutes.
2. Add cayenne pepper and stir, turn off the heat.
3. In a food processor, add parmesan cheese and pulverize, until fine crumbs.
4. Add pea mixture and ricotta to food processor. Pulse mixture several times until chunky, but slightly smooth. Add 3 more tablespoons of olive oil and pulse, until just incorporated. Spoon spread into your favorite serving dish and drizzle with a little more olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt. Enjoy!