While I take a lot of inspiration from Jamie Oliver’s enthusiasm for all things natural, cooking and keeping it real on the whole, I must say even he can’t inspire me to get fresh peas in a pod and pod them.  I simply don’t have the kind of day where podding peas gets any time priority right now.  In his original recipe for this, he calls for fresh peas and broad beans, which apparently have far superior flavour.  So if any of you want to try with the fresh stuff – let me know how you go.

But the idea of tasty peas, smushed on garlic toast, and topped with a poached egg?  That’s a winner in my book, as it can really serve at any time of the day for a healthy dose of greens, protein and flavour.  Warning for all those against peas – mushy or otherwise – this recipe is built on them.  I, as a pea lover, am happy to find another way to work them into my meals.

[And as you can see from the looming shadows in this less than stellar photo, we had this as a quick weeknight dinner; I imagine it would make a lovely bright brekky, and look much more radiant in a photo taken then too.]

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Smashed peas on toast
Adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe

We had these with a poached egg on top, but you could also go with the original recipe’s suggestion of plopping a torn-up ball of buffalo mozzarella over the peas.

1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed to room temperature
about 12 leaves fresh mint
1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus extra to top
juice of 1 lemon
4 slices sourdough, toasted
olive oil
1 clove of garlic, halved
poached eggs (see note above)

To make the smashed peas, put the peas and mint in a mortar and pestle and smash until you have a rough paste.  (It is fine to do this in stages if they don’t all fit at once.)

Stir in enough olive oil to make the paste barely spreadable (about 2 tablespoons should do it), then stir in the cheese.

Stir in about half of the lemon juice, then taste, adding salt and pepper as needed.  Add more lemon juice to taste if needed as well.  The idea is not to smash the peas so much that you have a puree consistency, but something short of that.  I liked my smashed peas to still have some identifiable pieces of peas and cheese in it.

(Get your eggs going at this point if you are having them.)  Toast the sourdough slices.  When done, drizzle with some olive oil and rub with the cut side of a garlic half.

Pile some peas on the garlic toast, top with an egg (or mozzarella), and scatter with some extra parmesan.

Yield: enough smashed peas for 2-3 serves.

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