Fresh Spring Flavors: We're Crushing on Cheesy Pea Toast
Move over avocado toast, there’s a new green-stuff-on-bread sheriff in town: Super easy cheesy pea toast. Green peas, Parmesan, and fresh mint unite for a scrumptious, spreadable mash you can literally whip up in 10 minutes flat (full recipe below). Smear it on toast for a kid-friendly lunch (we did say cheesy), or serve it as a dip with fresh veggies or whole grain crackers for a healthy snack.
If your neighborhood grocer or local farmers’ market has fresh peas—hooray! But frozen peas work just as well, so this is truly a year-round recipe. Make our toast now to celebrate the spring, and make it again in November as a reminder that the sun will indeed return.
Fresh or frozen, green peas are packed with protein, fiber, lutein (which aids in eye health), immune-boosting vitamin C, and an array of essential B vitamins. These vibrant green orbs also burst with fresh spring flavor. Our mash balances the peas’ sweet, grassy notes with tart lemon, umami-rich Parmesan and garlic, nutty olive oil, and the bright zing of mint. It’s yummy served on toasted wheat bread, but feel free to tuck into a bowlful with nothing more than spoon.
In our centers, we embrace family-style eating—encouraging children to serve themselves teaches them important social skills (like passing items, sharing, being patient, and saying “please” and “thank you”) and how to listen to their own hunger cues. Allowing them to get in on the serving action can also inspire them to try new foods—even green ones, like peas!
Invite your child to top his toast with a hearty helping of mashed peas and any other tasty add-ons he might fancy. We like the crispy crunch of radishes, fresh tang of tomatoes, or a little saltiness to balance the peas’ sweetness (courtesy of a sprinkle of uncured turkey bacon).
Sure, there will likely be some spills when children take the lead, but also lots of smiles.
We’re all about kid-friendly meals, of course, but this delish spring dish also makes a great quick bite for busy adults, too. Sprinkle your toast with red pepper flakes for a bit of heat, mash avocado along with the cooked peas to get some extra healthy fats, or serve with poached eggs for a fancy-looking (but ready in a flash!) weekend brunch with friends.
The pea mash should last up to two days in the fridge, so consider adding it to your brown-bag lunch rotation. We suggest layering it in a sandwich like you would with hummus or cream cheese—pair it with grated red cabbage, spinach, tomato, and seasoned tofu or tuna.
CHEESY PEA TOAST
Yields: At least 8 servings
Total Time: 10 minutes
- 3 cups fresh or frozen peas
- 1 garlic clove, quartered
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt to taste
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- ¼ cup fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus more to taste
- Black pepper
- 8 slices whole grain bread
- In a small saucepan, combine the peas, garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, a pinch of salt, and ½ a cup of water.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the peas are bright green and tender—about 5 minutes for fresh peas and 2 minutes for frozen.
- Drain the peas and garlic, reserving the cooking liquid.
- Transfer the peas and garlic to a food processor or blender; pulse until a coarse paste forms and then transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Alternatively, transfer the drained peas to a medium bowl right away and mash them with the back of a fork.
- Add the remaining olive oil, Parmesan, mint, and lemon juice. Mix all together.
- Stir in the reserved cooking liquid 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is thick but spreadable. Season with salt and pepper.
- Toast the bread and then evenly divide the pea mash on top of all 8 slices. Add toppings, if desired. Enjoy!