You know what’s delicious? Toast. You know what is even more delicious than toast? Toast with yummy things on top of it, which is why millennials are going broke over avocado toast.
OK, I’m kidding — but in 2017, Australian millionaire developer Tim Gurner did an interview with “60 Minutes Australia,” in which he condescendingly proclaimed, “When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocados for $19 and four coffees at $4 each.”
The controversial soundbite spurred an endless torrent of memes that, although hilarious, hit a little too close to home for some of us.
Truth be told, the price of avocado toast on a typical brunch menu is shocking. Why does avocado on bread with a sprinkle of pepper cost $14? My motto has always been, “Why spend the money if I can make it at home?”
But the issue is that avocados aren’t that cheap at the grocery store, either. So when you’re focusing on serving a large holiday party, any recipe calling for an abundance of avocados can get expensive.
So, this smashed English pea toast recipe is for all you millennials out there trying to buy homes. This is a delicious springtime-inspired dish that works on its own or as a side dish on a brunch spread.
English peas are a springtime treasure and require very little cooking to showcase their sweet, bright, tender flavor. They’re relatively cheap, and you can buy them fresh or frozen.
The smashed peas also bring a new health dimension to the toast game. They’re packed with protein, fiber and vitamin C, making this dish a great option for a vegan or vegetarian brunch spread.
There’s not much to break down in terms of the recipe. The better the bread, the better the toast. Start this dish with a thick cut of good crusty bread (I use La Brea Bakery rosemary and olive oil bread; the herbs play well with the spring flavors).
I follow this up with a layer of whole-grain mustard and lemony almond ricotta. The brightness of the mustard and lemon and the sweet, mild creaminess of the almonds pair well with the peas.
Then comes a layer of lightly cooked smashed peas and some fresh spring radishes for color and crunch. The result is a wildly successful combination of flavors that will make eyes pop and taste buds sing.
1 cup raw almonds (soaked overnight or for 8 hours and peeled)
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons non-dairy milk (or water)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
English pea toast:
1/2 cup lemon almond ricotta
4–6 slices of crusty bread (½ inch thick)
5–6 Easter egg radishes, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
2 cups English peas
Soak almonds overnight, or boil for 10 minutes in salted water. Peel and remove skins from almonds (they will slide right off after soaking).
Add almonds, lemon juice, lemon zest, non-dairy milk (or water), nutritional yeast and salt to a food processor and blend until smooth. If too dry and lumpy, slowly add more milk or water as needed. Set ricotta mixture aside.
Steam peas until tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Run peas under cold water to cool and stop cooking process, then dry peas thoroughly.
Place 1-1/2 cups peas in food processor with salt and pepper to taste and blend until mixture reaches consistency of crunchy peanut butter. Add remaining peas and pulse a few times so that peas' shape is visible in mixture. Set mixture aside.
Grill, broil or toast bread on both sides until golden brown.
To assemble, layer whole-grain mustard and lemon almond ricotta onto toast.
Add pea mixture.
Top toast with sliced radishes and cracked pepper for garnish. Serve immediately.
Peeling the almonds ensures that the ricotta is a light color, not that of the almond skins.