How do you put the essence of spring on a plate?
Tucked away in their bright green pods, English peas arrive each spring with a sense of urgency. Their quality largely depends on how quickly you can get them from vine to plate. The sweet sugars start breaking down into starch as soon as they’re picked.
Making the most of the most of this tender green vegetable requires some time and patience to shell, but it’s worth the investment if you happen upon some fresh ones. Frozen peas, however, are a sure thing.
Frozen quickly after picked, they lose none of their pea essence and retain a tender sweetness long after the season is over. Fresh peas are a wonderful thing if you have them, but I’m not going to snub their frozen counterparts. A bag of frozen peas sits in my freezer year-round.
That being said, either frozen or fresh, they benefit from a short bath in some boiling water. Blanching the peas brings out their sweet bright flavor while retaining their snap.
I paired my peas with a delicate almond flour crust and creamy herbed goat cheese filling. Peas have a natural affinity for tangy goat cheese and Greek yogurt which further showcases their sweet side.
The tart features a creamy filling laced with fresh herbs, balanced with a layer of blanched peas and a handful of colorful micro greens. The herbed goat cheese is soft and unctuous and the peas still slightly firm yet yielding as you bite into this tart bursting with spring flavors.
Serves Serves 6 to 8
The tart features a creamy filling laced with fresh herbs, balanced with a layer of blanched peas and a handful of colorful micro greens.
45 minPrep Time
15 minCook Time
- 2 cups (224g) almond flour
- 3 Tablespoons (42g) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 ounces (168g) fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (56g) Greek yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups (190g) frozen or shelled English peas
- 1 cup of micro greens (for garnish)
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the almond flour, butter, egg white, and salt and pulse until the mixtures starts to come together.
- Place dough in a well greased tart mold, pressing down firmly with your fingers up and around the edges to create an even layer. Prick the bottom of the shell all over with a fork. Put the tart shell in the freezer for 20 minutes while you heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the frozen tart shell in the oven and bake until golden, about 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool on a rack.
- Allow to cool completely before unmolding and filling. (Placing the tart shell in the fridge will speed cooling and make unmolding easier)
- In a food processor, blend together the goat cheese, Greek yogurt, fresh herbs, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper and pulse briefly to combine.
- Bring water to a boil. Blanch the peas for about 2 minutes, then shock them in a bowl of ice water and drain.
- When the tart shell has cooled, spread the herbed goat cheese filling evenly over the surface with an offset spatula, then cover the entire surface with a layer of peas. Top with the micro greens, drizzle with a little extra olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cut the tart into slices and serve.
Gluten Free, Grain Free, Vegetarian NOTE: You will need a 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan; the tart shell can be made ahead of time.