I first had a fava bean on a dish we used to serve when I worked at The Kitchen in Denver, Colorado. My burrata bruschetta with peas and mint is slightly different than that original dish.
First, I won’t make you pound the peas and favas in a mortar and pestle the way we had to. Our chef was adamant that this was the best way to get the appropriate texture of the peas. He didn’t know that often the cooks were in the back using a food processor to pulse the legumes to create the mixture.
Second, we had this bitchin’ Ferrari of meat slicers in the kitchen that we would use to cut prosciutto to order, the way it was intended to be eaten. Very often my meal for the night would be a slice of toast with whatever unsold pea mixture we had left and a few slices of prosciutto on top. Even when I would come in to eat on my days off, I would request the addition of prosciutto to the top of the tartine because it was, to me, the perfect pairing.
Anytime I see fresh peas at the market I remember this dish and get a craving. I go out and get all the ingredients to make it the burrata bruschetta with peas like a yearly ritual and a return to the past. The Kitchen Denver was my first restaurant job and where I cut my teeth in the culinary world. This dish reminds me of where I started and how far I’ve come. It makes me think of all that I have learned. AND it’s the perfect dinner for a hot summer night.
Oh, and one final thing. I removed the parmesan from the original dish and replaced it with burrata because I love ya’ll. Enjoy.
Here is the straight up truth about blanching. It’s a pretty simple process where you take green vegetables, dunk them in boiling salted water for a brief period of time, then in ice water.
What does this process do?
Well, the salt and the high heat very lightly cook the produce and bring the chlorophyll to the surface. The ice locks in the color. If you do this with your basil before you make pesto, it will never turn olive or grey.
Why does it turn olive or grey?
The acidity in the lemon juice conspires to kill the chlorphyll. I’m not 100% sure how that process works, but that’s what happens. Acidic ingredients kill the green color, blanch/shocking them is your insurance policy against that. Time can also be the thief of color and blanching lengthens their shelf life in your fridge.
Here’s how I do it:
Bring a medium size saucepan to a boil with 1 Tbsp salt. Prepare a medium sized bowl with ice water.
Place peas (or whatever veggie) into a wire mesh basket.
Next, lower the basket into the water. If you can’t fit it in then just dump the veggies straight into the water and use the basket to drain. Let the veggies simmer in the water for about 1 minute (can differ from veg to veg).
Drain and immediately transfer to the ice water. If you dunk the peas into the water with the ice using the basket, you will not need to fish out the ice cubes. Only let the peas sit in this water for as long as it takes for them to be cool to the touch, then drain and dry on a paper towel.
Burrata bruschetta with peas and mint
Burrata Bruschetta with Peas and Mint
- 2 thick pieces country bread
- 1 cup English peas shucked and blanched
- 1 cup Fava beans shucked, blanched and cleaned (SUB 1 extra cup peas if desired)
- 1/4 cup fresh mint thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 8 oz ball burrata
- 3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto
- Toast the bread.
- Coarsely chop the peas and fava beans. In a medium bowl, combine with mint lemon zest, juice, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Start with 1/4 tsp of each.
- Divide burrata and spread evenly on both pieces of toasted bread.
- Spoon pea mixture over both toasts.
- Layer 2-3 slices of prosciutto on each toast.
- Drizzle with additional olive oil if desired.