Smashed Pea Toast with Feta, Shallots and Parsley
I recently whipped up the *perfect pea purée* and had an absolute field day playing with it in the kitchen. There are so many uses for a good old pea purée, ok guys!?! And this smashed pea toast is not only one of them, but it’s my favorite. Purées may seem like a lot of work, but as long as you have the right equipment, they are really easy to whip up. My favorite thing to do is make this pea purée in bulk, and then have it handy for quick healthy snacks (such as dipping carrots into, or spreading on toast with eggs.) It lasts for 3 days in the fridge.
This toast has a slightly sweet pea taste with a silky spread texture, some lemony vibes, saltiness and creaminess from the feta, a strong kick from the shallot and nuttiness from the multigrain bread (the bread you use is up to you, I just prefer the nuttiness here!)
While I topped mine like this, you can jazz your toast up however you like. I love adding fresh mint, ricotta, or just a simple sprinkle of Parmesan. Or, just add nothing! Annnnd, now I’m hungry.
My final note here is that you can also make this a shareable appetizer, instead of just a personal snack. Spread this on a crostini or small fried tortillas and bam, you have an easy, elevated starter or snack platter. You can also make this gluten-free and vegan if you choose the right bread and toppings for you!
The first step to this is to make the perfect pea purée. Here’s the recipe. Then, there’s a separate recipe for the toast and the ingredients you need for that.
|2 1/2cups frozen peas
|2tbsp lemon juice
|Zest of 1 lemon
|1/4cup olive oil
|Topping options (optional, only necessary if serving this as a dip! - I served with parmesan, pepper, olive oil, parsley and more peas)
|Freshly cracked black pepper
|Sliced or minced hallots
|Toasted cashews or pistachios
|Blender or food processor
|Mesh strainer (optional, but preferred)
Bring a pot of water to a boil and season with 1 tsp of salt. You can also add 1 tsp of sugar if you want to bring out the sweetness in the pea. I didn't do that, but it is an option!
Once the water is boiling, add all of the frozen peas and boil for 1-2 minutes, until they are bright green and tender. We do not want to over cook the peas and have them turn olive green!
After the 1-2 minute mark, remove them from the boiling water and put them into a bowl of cold water. Run some more cold water over the bowl, while mixing the peas. The motion helps the heat disperse more quickly so that they stop cooking. If you don't feel like doing this, you can also put the newly cooked peas into an ice bath!
Once the peas are no longer hot, remove 1/2 cup and reserve it for topping (if serving this as a dip.) If you are serving this as a spread and don't want to garnish, skip this step.
Pour all of the peas into a blender. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and olive oil. Blend (and use purée function if you have it) until smooth (1-2 minutes.) Taste to make sure the levels of flavor are to your liking, and if not, adjust accordingly. If you want more salt, add more salt. If you started off lightly on the lemon and want more lemon, this is your time to add more! Feel free to also add raw garlic if that's what your palate wants!
Put the mesh strainer over a bowl and fill it halfway with pea purée. Use the back of a spoon to smear the purée onto the strainer to filter out the grainy, clumpy bits that weren't blended. What comes out on the other side is your newly super smooth pea purée!
Continue to strain until you've smoothed out all of the purée. Feel free to eat the leftover clumpy parts, or put them in a bag to use for a pea soup! You could also put them back in the blender to purée.
If serving as a dip, pour the purée into a bowl or onto a platter. Create a divot in theh middle and place some peas on top. Top with toppings of your choice. I added olive oil, fresh black pepper, Parmesan and parsley.
If you don't love lemon, feel free to boil the peas with garlic and onion, then blend all of it up together. Skip the lemon juice and zest in the purée and follow all of the other steps.
If you don't have a blender, a food processor works fine! Personal blenders are also welcome.
For toppings, go wild with whatever YOU want! I provided some options here and kept it simple. If you skip the cheese for topping, this recipe is vegan.