Spring Pea Toasts with
Lemon Olive Oil & Fresh Pea Shoots
Fresh green peas and their curlicue shoots are one of the first signs of spring at my local farmer’s markets, and I can never resist combining the two in these refreshing and delicately flavored toasts or Meyer Lemonade.
MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS, ENOUGH FOR ABOUT 2 DOZEN CROSTINI
½ pound shelled fresh green peas (in the South we call these English peas)
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 garlic cloves, smashed
8 to 10 fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup (1½ ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lemon Olive Oil (recipe follows), for drizzling on top
24 fresh pea shoots or baby watercress or arugula (about 1 cup)
1. Rinse and drain the peas, discarding any blemished peas or bits of pod. Place in a food processor along with the lemon zest and juice, garlic, mint, and chives and pulse four or five times to chop. With the motor running slowly, add the olive oil to puree and make a paste, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl several times. Add the Parmesan cheese and pulse several more times to mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste and pulse to mix.
2. Spread a heaping teaspoon of the pea mixture on top of each crostini, drizzle with Lemon Olive Oil, top each with 1 pea shoot, and serve at room temperature.
Lemon Olive Oil
You can buy lemon-flavored olive oil, but to ensure freshness, why not make your own? Like making vinaigrette, it’s so easy.
MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP
Combine 1 cup fruity green extra-virgin olive oil and the zest and juice of 1 lemon in a glass jar, screw on the lid, and shake to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use, or for up to 2 weeks.