I love Spring. And I love it for the most clichéd of reasons: because it signals a new beginning, a clean slate, a fresh start. I’m not one for new years’ resolutions (you can decide to make a change any day of the year), but Spring Equinox, for me, is when I always feel the most alive (it helps that the weather in Dubai in the Spring is spectacular: blue skies and light breezes and sharp edges), and when change seems to make its way—slowly but surely— into my life.
This Spring, I went back to Sri Lanka for ten days (more on that soon). Being away gave me clarity on some of the things I’ve been questioning lately, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the breather it gave me from the chaos in my mind.
This is a recipe (and I use the term ‘recipe’ very loosely here) for one of my all-time favorite bruschette toppings: smashed peas with mint. It’s so underrated, but it’s my go-to because you can make it year-round (thanks, frozen peas!) and its vibrant green hue exudes a fresh, bright, springtime vibe.
The pea smash is vegan, but add some creamy burrata on top and you’ve got a veggie appetizer that’s just as impressive as it is delicious—and so quick and easy to make, making it perfect for lazy entertaining.
- Makes 4 large or 8 small bruschette
- 4 large or 8 small slices of bread. I like to use a country-style loaf, but baguette works well too.
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1 ½ tsp Maldon salt, or other flaky salt
- 250 g frozen peas, thawed and drained of any water
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- zest of 1/3 lemon
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- pepper, to taste (3-4 round of the pepper mill)
- 1 small handful fresh mint leaves
- Toast the bread, in a toaster or in the oven, until golden-brown and lightly crisp.
- Place the garlic and Maldon salt in a food processor and blitz until fine.
- Add all of the other ingredients to the food processor and blitz until a puree forms. I like to stop short of a very smooth mixture and leave some texture.
- Spoon the pea mixture onto the bread, and serve as is or with: a drizzle of olive oil, extra mint leaves, whole peas, pea shoots, radishes, or creamy burrata.