Bland, mushy frozen peas and carrots drowning in a pool of butter sauce are the stuff of dinnertime nightmares among many of the TT editorial staff.
Which is why when fresh peas are in season, we flock to the market to stock up on the crisp pods—a revelation of bright, sweet, almost-hydrating flavor. And right now, we're shelling out for summer's teensy green gems, more often than not crunching through a couple of shells before we even get home.
Though we're not against tossing a handful of raw pods into a salad or blanching snap peas and serving them in a lemony dressing, we're getting a little higher-concept with this year's crop, taking loose inspiration from of-the-moment Mexican-influenced restaurants like Cosme and El Rey in NYC.
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Food editor Andy Baraghani makes a Jackson Pollock-esque tostada using snap peas and their broad bean buddies, the fava (see the recipe). Yes, we get it: Fava beans require some work, with the shelling and blanching and all that jazz, but when blended into a coarse salt- and lime-spiked avocado and sour cream mash, they add just enough texture and nutty flavor to make things interesting.
Andy blasts the snap peas in a smoking-hot cast-iron pan to give them the most subtle char, then tosses them with diced white onions, fresh cilantro leaves and a squeeze of fresh lime. He smears a little bit of the favocado mash on a puffed-up, fried tortilla, then sprinkles on some of the seared pea mixture, upping the warmth and smoke by drizzling a warm cumin- and coriander-infused oil and sprinkling a pinch of Aleppo pepper atop.
His final, surprising touch? A smattering of sweet toasted coconut flakes, which just happen to tie in to the whole Hawaiian thing that's happening right now.
With its layers of fresh flavors and crisp-meets-cool-and-creamy texture, this tostada is our summer peas of mind.
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