Today: Toast says goodbye to avocado and welcomes peas as its new best friend.
There’s something providential about the pairing of peas and toast. In a lot of ways, they’re both comfort food ingredients. Say “toast” and I think of my favorite lazy dinner (dressed up avocado toast). Say “peas” and I think about the satisfaction of folding bright green peas into a hearty casserole or pasta bake.
But peas have a certain elegance, too. Perhaps it’s their characteristically subtle sweetness. Perhaps it’s the finesse it takes to cook them just right, so that they’re tender but not mushy. Perhaps it’s that vibrant green hue. They're the ideal partner for toast, which as any toast connoisseur will tell you, is easy to dress up or down.
This dish is a perfect mixture of comfort and delicacy. The peas are infused with bright, springtime flavors, from shallots and lemon to fresh mint (with a little garlic to keep things interesting). I like to use a hearty, grainy toast for this recipe (maybe something with some nuts or seeds) so that the contrast of silky purée and crispy toast can shine.
If you cut your toast into quarters, you’ve got a quick, easy, and impressive appetizer on your hands. My favorite way to serve this dish, though, is for lunch, along with a simple green soup or a brothy dish. Save leftover purée for dipping crudités, crackers or heck, more toast.
Serves 4 (2 slices of toast per person)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups fresh or thawed frozen peas
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoons salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup mint leaves
8 slices whole-grain toast
Photos by James Ransom