I know peas get a bad rep, I think because our grandmothers and their mothers cooked them until they were mushy and bland. But I'm here to tell you that I LOVE PEAS! (That just reminded me of the song "I LOVE TOAST" that they sometimes play on the SiriusXM radio station Kid Place Live, anyone out there know what I'm talking about? I sort of love that song. Anyway.) I do, I love peas, because if peas are properly prepared they are bright and fresh and sweet and delicious. When you "smash" peas with a hint of garlic, fresh basil and good olive oil, the result is perfection. And then pairing that with creamy ricotta and toasty bread?? Perfect appetizer, your guests will rave.
Smashed Pea and Ricotta Crostini
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
2 basil leaves, roughly chopped, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil, plus more for toasting bread
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 tsp honey
1 loaf french bread
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut bread into 1-inch diagonal slices and place on a baking sheet. Brush both sides with olive oil, and toast for about 10 minutes, until it begins to turn golden (flipping halfway through). In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Prepare a bowl of ice water. Add peas to boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and immediately place in ice water to stop cooking process. Let sit for a few minutes, then drain. Place peas, garlic, basil, salt, pepper and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil into a blender or food processor. Blend until peas reach a smashed consistency. In a small bowl, add the ricotta and stir in the honey and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Assemble toasts by spreading ricotta first, then smashed peas and sprinkle with more basil.