As a child, I remember my mother using frozen peas as an add-on to stews, rice, tarts – basically anything that needed a touch of color. If you had them it was great, if not: no problem!
As a college student, learning to cook with ingredients that were tasty, affordable, convenient and nutritious was a challenge. It is not an easy task if your budget won’t always allow for lean meats and fresh vegetables. Reading more about frozen peas, I discovered that they are not only nutritious, but also that they are better for you than fresh peas. They are picked and frozen at the peak of ripeness, which prevents them from losing their nutrients. Before knowing it, I was using them in pasta dishes, sandwiches, and salads.
This crostini is an ode to the times when I was studying all day and a bag of frozen peas saved my dinner. The mint and garlic dresses up the peas elegantly and the ricotta balances out the flavours with its silky texture. You will never look at peas the same way again.
Wine tip: Sauvignon blanc
Mint & Pea Crostini (4 crostini)
- 1 cup frozen spring peas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 4 tablespoons fresh ricotta cheese
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 handful chopped fresh mint leaves. Leave some intact for decorating
- 1 baguette or other crusty bread
Roll up a few mint leaves and chopped in ribbons. Set aside.
Turn on the stove to medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add minced garlic and fry until lightly golden. Add frozen peas and mix with the garlic. Cook for a few minutes until they have a vibrant green color. Season with salt and pepper. Add mint and mix well. Turn off the stove and slightly mash the pea mixture. Do not over-mash it so that you have a chunky texture.
Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a grill pan. Add bread and toast until golden on both sides. Remove from the heat.
Add one tablespoon of ricotta to the bread and top with a tablespoon of the pea mixture. Be generous. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and top with a mint leaf.