Spring yields some of the most beautiful produce. Young and fresh and fragrant with new life, we can’t get enough of this season’s bounty. Snap peas top our list of most-loved spring eats, and the elegant recipe below is our new favorite way to eat them.
This dish comes from The Vegetable Gardener’s Cookbook, a beautiful manual on how to cook with the seasons. Prep this easy recipe as an appetizer for guests, to snack on something light during a Netflix spree, or on a whim for a few blissful moments feeling connected to the season…
A brief affair with high heat is a dependable method for searing the sweetness of the pea into itself. The crisp-tender, slightly smoky peas are brightened by a lemony chive vinaigrette, making them the perfect partner for luscious and spicy whipped ricotta.
Legumes are a great source of nitrogen. Enjoy an early, cool season crop of peas — they are one of spring’s most tenacious forces. While they can be cultivated in the summer, their pods yield a crisp sweetness when allowed to mature in cool temperatures.
charred snap peas with chive vinaigrette + whipped ricotta
¼ cup plus 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 lb sugar snap peas
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp minced fresh chives
pinch of kosher salt and fresh black pepper
¾ cup whole-milk ricotta
½ tsp finely grated lemon zest
pinch of crushed red pepper
¼ cup mint leaves, finely chopped
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the snap peas and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender and lightly charred, 3 to 5 minutes.
Combine the mustard, lemon juice and chives in a small bowl along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until well blended.
In a large bowl, toss the snap peas with the vinaigrette. In a food processor, combine the ricotta, remaining teaspoon of olive oil, lemon zest and crushed red pepper. Whip the ricotta until smooth. Remove the mixture from the food processor and fold in the mint leaves.
To serve, smear the ricotta on a platter and top it with the charred snap peas. Serve the snap peas with thick slices of toasted bread or alongside a slice of flatbread or pizza.
Reprinted with permission from The Vegetable Gardener’s Cookbook by Danielle Majeika, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo credit: Danielle Majeika.