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By: Chef Laura Bonicelli

One of the first signs of Spring at the market is pea shoots and fresh herbs.  If you can’t find shoots yet, substitute arugula or watercress.  Making this “Spring Pea and Ricotta Salad” is an outstanding start to the season.

What a combination!

 

“Spring Pea and Ricotta Salad” is a monochromatic salad that brings a rush of flavor. Where I come from, Minnesota, we see minimal color outside from November to May. This much green is a feast for your eyes and is simple and perfect.

It’s easy to play around with the combination of herbs. We’re taking a unique approach considering the herbs to be flavorful lettuce.

Basil was my substitution today. Even though I was at the market before 7 am, chives sold out early. The basil worked perfectly. Basil and mint together are one of my favorite herb combinations. Dill works its way into every thrown together salad I make -all summer long.

About the Recipe

I make homemade ricotta every other week or so. I love it so much that I have published my go-to recipe in the cooking club 3 or 4 times. My latest love, though, is a microwave recipe (yes, microwave) that cooks up in 4 minutes and is ready in 20. If you don’t make your ricotta, try to buy it from a shop that makes it fresh.

Like most chefs, I am a big fan of frozen peas. I also love fresh peas for this salad, but they aren’t at the market yet, so I opted for frozen. Once the snap peas arrive, I’ll make this salad with the whole pea – pod and all. They are beautiful sliced in half length-wise.

 

 

The lemon juice will start to discolor the peas in half an hour or so. Dress and plate the salad right before serving to preserve the color and freshness. Don’t toss the leftovers, though; they will taste delicious even the day after.

I hope you love this recipe! Buon Appetito!

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Buon Appetito!
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Step by Step Instructions

Spring Pea and Ricotta Salad

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Ingredients
  

Ricotta

  • 1 cup homemade ricotta
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Salad

  • 8 ounces Spring peas -- frozen can be used thaw don't cook
  • 3/4 cup pea tendrils
  • 1/4 minced fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Assemble

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Instructions
 

Ricotta

  • Process ricotta and lemon zest together in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade until creamy. Set aside

Salad

  • Bring a medium-sized saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Blanch the peas for 1 minute, until barely tender. Transfer peas to a bowl of ice water to shock and remove immediately to a sheet pan lined with paper towels.
  • Toss the peas, tendrils, chives, mint, dill, and lemon juice in a large bowl.

Assemble

  • Spread the ricotta mixture onto a platter. Arrange the pea mixture on top of the ricotta and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and lemon rind.

Notes

Copyright:
Chef Laura Bonicelli
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