Spring Pea and Ricotta Toast with Fresh Mint and Baby Greens

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Spring is my favorite season for produce. Soon, the farmers’ markets will be overflowing with the likes of ramps, spring onions, fiddlehead ferns, and fresh peas, which are one of my childhood favorites. For this recipe, I combine sweet spring peas, fresh mint, and creamy ricotta, and slather the mixture over a slice of crisp whole grain toast. Scatter some local baby greens to finish and you have a delicious, satisfying breakfast or lunch.

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

For a relative of the onion, shallots hold their own when it comes to nutrient quality. Shallots can help lower cholesterol levels, prevent certain types of cancer, provide anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiviral protection, lower blood pressure, help manage diabetes, soothe nerves, boost circulation, speed up digestion, and aid in weight loss efforts. Additionally, shallots can be used as fresh or in pickling variety. Ricotta cheese should be eaten in moderation as 1-cup serving of whole milk ricotta cheese contains 428 calories and 31.9 g of fat, with a majority of the fat coming from saturated fat, which can wreak havoc with blood cholesterol levels and lead to an increased risk of heart disease. So, opt for part-skim and fat-free ricotta varieties when possible or make it at home by separating the whey from the whole milk. Thankfully, each serving also contains 27.7 g of protein and 7.5 g carbohydrates, which is necessary to contribute to energy needs.

By Nikki Nies, MS, Nutritionist

Spring Pea and Ricotta Toast with Fresh Mint and Baby Greens

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Servings: 4

Ingredients

1 cup shelled English peas
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 small shallot (minced)
1/2 small leek, white and light green parts only (thinly sliced) about 1/3 cup
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup tightly-packed fresh mint leaves (finely chopped)
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper, divided
2 large slices whole grain bread (toasted)
1/4 cup assorted baby greens (try red sorrel, pea tendrils, or mint)
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and prepare a small bowl of ice water. Blanch the fresh peas in the boiling water for about 90 seconds or until crisp tender. Drain the peas and place in the ice water to stop any further cooking.
2. Heat one tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat in a sauté pan. Add the shallot, leek, and a 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sauté until translucent and soft, about 2-3 minutes.
3. In a food processor, place the shallot mixture and the peas. Pulse until coarsely chopped. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, mint, lemon juice, a dash of white pepper, and a 1/2 teaspoon salt. Fold in the pea mixture.
4. Spread about a 1/4 cup of the pea mixture onto each slice of toast. Top with baby greens, grated parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and prepare a small bowl of ice water. Blanch the fresh peas in the boiling water for about 90 seconds or until crisp tender. Drain the peas and place in the ice water to stop any further cooking. 2. Heat one tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat in a sauté pan. Add the shallot, leek, and a 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sauté until translucent and soft, about 2-3 minutes. 3. In a food processor, place the shallot mixture and the peas. Pulse until coarsely chopped. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, mint, lemon juice, a dash of white pepper, and a 1/2 teaspoon salt. Fold in the pea mixture. 4. Spread about a 1/4 cup of the pea mixture onto each slice of toast. Top with baby greens, grated parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving:  Calories: 189 g; Total Fat: 11 g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 6g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 11 mg; Sodium: 704 mg; Potassium: 157mg; Carbohydrate: 16g; Fiber: 3 g; Sugar: 3 g; Protein: 8g

Nutrition Bonus:  Vit C: 26%; Calcium: 13%; Vit A: 12%; Iron: 9%

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3 thoughts on “Spring Pea and Ricotta Toast with Fresh Mint and Baby Greens

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