Hello! Second week of June. What a joy. May was green, strawberries, flowers, lots of cooking, long days on set. June is shaping up to be much the same. Which is completely fine with me.
I don’t have too many more things to say, other than: have you been to the market lately? You should go. We’re at the cusp of summer, and everything is so beautiful and fresh right now. Lush greens, pinks, gifts from the earth. Mellow spring garlic, bunches of radishes. I’ve been buying lots of strawberries and eating them by the pint. Shelling peas and popping them fresh, pod and all. This week, I bought a big bunch of my favorite garlic scapes. They’re delicious with eggs, on toast with avocado, made into pesto. Truly, they’re perfect any way you have them.
This is basically a plate of ricotta inspired by everything on offer at the market. It’s mint-y green, flecked with herbs and blitzed with sweet, fresh peas. The blistered scapes on top add garlicky, spicy flavor. I love it for a summer grazing party or buffet- I’m even content to eat a plate of this for lunch with crisp, cold vegetables (radishes! carrots! cucumbers!) and seeded crackers. Best of all: it takes just minutes to come together.
Notes: you can use frozen peas if you can’t find fresh ones- they can even be sweeter and more flavorful than their fresh counterparts, as they’re picked and flash frozen at peak ripeness. Simply defrost and get ride of any excess liquid before using.
For the whipped ricotta:
- 1 cup full fat ricotta
- 1 cup fresh green peas
- 1/4 cup fresh herbs (I used basil and chive)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3-4 garlic scapes, sliced into thirds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- crackers, chive blossoms, mint and crudités, to serve
- Prepare the whipped ricotta. Add the ricotta, peas, herbs, milk, lemon juice, black pepper and sea salt to a powerful blender or food processor, and process until the ricotta is a light, mint-y green color, the peas are fully blended and the texture is thick and fluffy.
- Add more milk if needed to help process. Season to taste. Remove from blender and refrigerate until needed.
- Saute the scapes. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add the scapes to the pan and saute for 3-4 minutes, until blistered and softened. Season with freshly ground black pepper and flaky salt and remove from heat.
- Place the whipped ricotta in a large bowl and top with the blistered scapes, flaky salt, pepper and chive blossoms. Serve with crackers, raw vegetables like radishes and carrots and more herbs.