On the east end of Long Island we are currently deep in the spring season. In fact, summer starts tomorrow. In my culinary garden (and on most of the local farms) we are currently harvesting lots of spinach, swiss chard, zucchini, radishes, arugula and a LOT of lettuce variations. The local strawberries are coming in now as well as are garlic scapes, spring onions and sugar snap peas.
Today the peas made their debut for lunch. The combination of sugar snap peas and ricotta cheese is classic in Italian cuisine and often includes pasta in the equation. In this recipe we keep it light and fresh. I think Marc Vetri worked with this presentation in a dish at Vetri in Philadelphia but his version included nuts and other flavors. I wanted to keep this more garden-focused. Here is how it worked out:
1 pint of ricotta cheese, whipped in a food processor
1 pint of sugar snap peas, stemmed and cleaned, blanched in boiling, salted water for 1 minute and chilled
1 large torpedo shallot, minced
1 lemon with the skin microplaned and juiced
1 chive flower, flowers removed
3 T. extra virgin olive oil (I used Pianogrillo from Sicily)
Freshly gound black pepper
Jacobsen Sea Salt (other flaked sea salt works well–I like Maldon salt)
To assemble the dish:
Spoon the ricotta cheese onto a large plate and smear it back and forth. It will be a bed for everything else.
In a bowl combine the peas, shallot, lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil. Stir them well and spoon them over the ricotta cheese.
Sprinkle the sea salt over everything and then grind the pepper over all of it. Use plenty of salt. It’s salt. Then sprinkle the chive flowers over the dish.
You can eat it as is with a fork or smear it all on toasted country bread. The delivery system is up to you.