Crushed Spring Peas with Mint
As a girl in England, April Bloomfield, chef and author of A Girl and Her Greens, always loved mushy peas, whether they were made the old-fashioned way—from a starchy variety of pea called marrowfat that’s dried and then soaked—or they came straight from a can. Nowadays, however, she prefers this mash made from fresh shelling peas, a twist on the British classic that actually requires less work to make than its inspiration. It’s wonderful spread in a thick layer on warm bread or used as a dip for raw vegetables, like radishes, carrots or wedges of fennel.
- 2 lb. (1 kg) fresh English peas, shelled (about 2 cups)
- 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) grated aged pecorino romano cheese
- 1 1/2 tsp. Maldon or other flaky sea salt, plus more for finishing
- 1 small spring garlic clove or 1/2 small garlic clove, coarsely chopped
- 12 fresh mint leaves, preferably black mint
- 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- Scant 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, plus more for finishing
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the mixture forms a coarse puree, about 45 seconds. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and stir, pressing and mashing the mixture with the back of the spoon until the mixture is somewhat creamy but still a little chunky. Season to taste with more salt and lemon juice (you want it to taste sweet and bright but not acidic). Serve immediately. Makes about 2 cups.
Adapted from April Bloomfield, A Girl and Her Greens (Ecco, 2015)