Spring has sprung in our garden, and I couldn’t be more peased! Er…pleased. This is our first year attempting a vegetable garden, and despite some patchy looking kale, things are progressing quite nicely. My track record with house plants is spotty at best, so I’ve been very grateful for the friends and neighbors that have been offering tips and seeds (of wisdom, and actual seeds) to help our garden grow. One plant that even I can grow is mint. We put a couple small seedlings in a container on the front stoop recently, and it has already quintupled in size and is slowly plotting to swallow Captain whole. I couldn’t bear to lose my furry little sous chef, so I decided to make this lovely little spread utilizing some of Spring’s finest flavors.
The two types of mint I’m currently growing are chocolate mint and apple mint. I munched on an apple mint leaf recently, and maybe my lady brain was swayed by the power of suggestion, but it really did taste like an apple! An apple wrapped in a mint wrapper. Brilliant.
Fresh or frozen peas would work fine here, and feel free to adjust the pea to mint to cheese ratio. Did I forget to mention there was cheese involved? Silly me. I started with just some peas and herbs, and it looked so gosh darn green and healthy, so in went some ricotta with a satisfying plop. Plop! The end result is a lovely combination or sweetness from the peas, richness from the ricotta, coolness from the mint and a little zing from the lemon juice and zest. If you have the time and motivation I highly recommend making your own ricotta, but store bought is perfectly acceptable as well. I served it on some garlic-rubbed crostini, but crackers or crudités would also make for lovely vehicles. If you have leftover spread, you can fold it into some hot pasta with a little parmesan grated on top for an easy dinner. If you’re feeling a little more daring with your leftovers, you can spread it on a freshly baked pizza crust or flatbread, and top it with some sliced lamb sausage. Happy Spring!
xo, Holly (The Apiarist)
Spring Pea Spread
This recipe makes a fair amount, so it would work great if you’re entertaining a group or need to bring a dish to pass. Otherwise feel free to adjust the amounts as needed.
2 cups fresh or frozen peas, thawed if frozen
2-3 tablespoons mint
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 – 2 cups ricotta, or a 15oz. container
Salt and freshly grated pepper
Place peas, mint, lemon juice and zest, and olive oil into a food processor and give it a few pulses until the peas and mint are roughly chopped. Add ricotta and give it another whirl in the processor until blended. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Makes about 3 cups.