Smashed Peas on Toast with Mint, Goat Cheese, Fresh Horseradish, and Smoked Trout
Who needs avocado for their toast when peas are in season?
Author: Sarah Blackburn
2poundsEnglish peas in the podor 2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
Extra virgin olive oil
1shallot or small white onion
1big sprig fresh rosemary
Pinchdried chili flakesoptional
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6–8 big mint leaves
1 4-ouncetube fresh goat cheese
Fresh horseradish rootfor grating, or ½ teaspoon bottled prepared horseradish
4ouncessmoked troutnova lox, hot-smoked salmon or cooked bacon (optional)
Fresh dill sprigsfor garnish
If using fresh peas in the pod, shell them (you should get about 2 cups), blanch them in boiling salty water 2–3 minutes, drain and shock in ice water; drain again and set aside. (If using frozen peas, run them under cool water to defrost, drain and set aside.)
Mince the shallot or onion. In a large skillet heat 3 tablespoons olive oil with the shallot/onion, whole rosemary sprig and chili flakes, if using. Sauté until shallots are lightly browned and rosemary leaves are crisp, then add the drained peas and season with a big pinch of salt and some black pepper. Cook, stirring, until peas are heated through. Remove the rosemary sprig, pull off the leaves into the peas and discard the stalk.
Using a Microplane grater, zest the lemon and then juice it. Scrape the pea mixture into the bowl of a food processor and add half the zest, 1 tablespoon juice and the mint leaves; pulse until coarsely pureed, adding olive oil if the mixture is too tight; be careful not to blend to a smooth paste—you want a chunky, “smashed” texture. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper or lemon if needed; pulse again to combine and set aside.
Toast or grill the bread slices and rub one side with the garlic clove. Mash the goat cheese with the remaining lemon juice and zest, a dribble of olive oil, a pinch each of salt and black pepper and if you’re using bottled horseradish, add it here (if you’re grating it fresh, wait until the end to use it as garnish).
Smear each piece of toast with the goat cheese mixture and top with some warm smashed peas. Arrange flakes of smoked fish or bacon on top (if using) and if you’ve got a fresh horseradish root, grate it using a Microplane grater and finish with fresh dill. Serve immediately.
To make ahead, prepare the toasts and the goat cheese mixture. Wait until the last minute to cook and pulse the peas so they stay warm—part of the delight of these toasts is the contrast between the cold, lemony cheese and the warm, minty peas.