To learn more about this recipe, read the related story, "Guac Epoch" in our National edition.
Spring Pea Guacamole
Recipe adapted from Jean-Georges Vongerichten, ABC Cocina, New York City
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
¾ cup shelled sweet peas
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, plus 1 tablespoon finely chopped
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1 medium jalapeño
1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2 ripe avocados--halved, pitted and peeled
3 scallions, white parts only, thinly sliced crosswise
2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest, plus
¼ cup fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes)
Pinch sea salt
Tortilla chips, for serving
1. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. To a medium saucepan of boiling water, add the peas and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the whole cilantro leaves and cook just long enough to wilt them, about 5 seconds. Strain both the peas and cilantro into a fine-mesh sieve and plunge the sieve into the ice water to stop the cooking. Once the peas are cool, transfer them to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Place the cilantro in a few layers of paper towels and wring dry.
2. To a skillet set over medium-high heat, add the sunflower seeds and toast until fragrant and golden-brown, about 1 minute. Transfer the sunflower seeds to a medium plate. To the skillet, add the whole jalapeño. Cook, using tongs to turn it often, until the jalapeño is charred, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the chile to a small bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 5 minutes. Peel the charred skin from the jalapeño, remove the stem, halve the chile lengthwise and remove the seeds with the tip of a paring knife.
3. To the small bowl insert of a food processor (or using a small capacity food processor), add all but 2 tablespoons of the cooled peas, the blanched cilantro, the charred jalapeño and ½ teaspoon of the kosher salt. Pulse the mixture until it is coarsely chopped, about 20 one-second pulses. Transfer the pea mixture to a medium bowl.
4. To the peas, add the avocados, scallions, lime zest, lime juice and remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Mash with a fork. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the sunflower seeds, the remaining peas, the chopped cilantro and the pinch of sea salt. Serve with the tortilla chips.