Peas, Fava Beans and Herb Flowers with Lemon Ricotta Cream

The fresh peas and fava beans are blanched to keep the colors vivid and then laid on a bed of lemon cream with a subtle hint of mint. Over all, it has delicate flavors of all the ingredients working together in one refreshing dish.
By Rowena Dumlao Giardina

Peas, Fava Beans & Herb Flowers with Lemon Ricotta Cream

When I create my dishes, colors spark my imagination. Green inspires me the most because it is the color of freshness. Yellow depicts sunshine and violet gives a touch of beauty. All three together gives quite an impact to the food and that is what this appetizer is all about.

Fresh peas and fava beans are seasonal and when they are out, I make sure that I include them in my dishes because they are healthy and delicious. If you have growing kids to feed, shelling the pods together can be a little activity in the kitchen that you can enjoy together because picky-eaters tend to open up and accept food when they took part in cooking them, just like my experience with my daughter.

In this appetizer, I decided to serve it in glasses to showcase the different colors. The lemon zest and juice in the ricotta gave just a subtle hint that that doesn’t overpower anything. The fresh peas and fava beans were blanched to keep the colors vivid. Over all, it has delicate flavors of all the ingredients working together in one refreshing dish.

 

Peas, Fava Beans & Herb Flowers with Lemon Ricotta Cream
 
Shelling and blanching fresh peas and fava beans can entail some work but the rewards are at the end when you take your first taste of this fresh and light vegetable appetizer. But since these fresh pods are seasonal, you can also enjoy them all-year round by using frozen alternatives. Placed on a bed of lemon ricotta cream, you will love the combination of lemony hint.
Author:
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups (225 g) peas (taken from 1 pound fresh pods)
  • 1 cup (150 g) fava beans (taken from 1 pound fresh pods)
  • 1 cup (240 g) ricotta
  • 1 untreated lemon, zest
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Herb flowers of sage and chives (can be optional)
Instructions
  1. Over medium - high heat, boil some water in a saucepan.
  2. In a medium bowl, put together some ice and water for the ice water bath.
  3. When the water in the saucepan boils, blanch the peas and fava beans for 3 minutes.
  4. With a slotted spoon, transfer them to the ice water bath. When they have cooled down, drain them well and set them aside.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the ricotta, lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper.
  6. In individual serving glasses, divide the ricotta then add the vegetables and herb flowers on top.

 

Rowena Dumlao Giardina

Rowena Dumlao – Giardina is the author and photographer of Apron and Sneakers that’s all about cooking and traveling in Italy (sometimes outside the country too!). Besides her blog, she’s also a recipe developer and a travel writer for other food and travel sites.

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