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Herbed Pea Puree and Ricotta Salad with Black Garlic and Lemon Confiture
© John Kernick

Herbed Pea Puree and Ricotta Salad with Black Garlic and Lemon Confiture

  • ACTIVE: 1 HR 30 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS 30 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 6
  • STAFF-FAVORITE
  • VEGETARIAN

This wonderful, complex-tasting warm salad by Best New Chef 2014 Matthew Accarrino combines three types of peas with a creamy ricotta-pea puree, sweet-tart lemon confiture and almonds.

Lemon Confiture

  1. 3/4 cup water
  2. 3/4 cup sugar
  3. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  4. 2 firm lemons, very thinly sliced crosswise on a mandoline and seeded

Pea Puree

  1. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1/2 medium onion, minced
  3. Kosher salt
  4. 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
  5. 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
  6. 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  7. 1/2 cup fresh ricotta
  8. 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Salad

  1. 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  2. 12 small peeled black garlic cloves (see Note)
  3. 1 cup freshly shelled English peas (1/4 pound)
  4. 1/4 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
  5. 1/4 pound snow peas, trimmed
  6. Kosher salt
  7. Pea shoots, thinly sliced radishes, small mint leaves, finely chopped chives, chopped marcona almonds and edible flowers, for garnish
  1. MAKE THE LEMON CONFITURE Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar and salt and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Transfer to a small baking dish and add the lemon slices in an even layer. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the rinds are translucent and the lemons are tender. Let cool completely.
  2. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE PUREE In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, season with salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just starting to brown, about 7 minutes. Add the peas and cook, stirring, until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Stir in the mint and parsley until just wilted, 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a mini food processor and let cool completely, then puree until smooth. Scrape the pea puree into a medium bowl and fold in the ricotta and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Season with salt.
  3. PREPARE THE SALAD Lightly brush a large square of wax paper with olive oil. Arrange the black garlic cloves 3 inches apart and put another piece of wax paper on top. Using a rolling pin, gently roll the cloves until very flat. Slide the paper onto a plate and freeze until slightly firm, about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch the English peas, sugar snaps and snow peas until crisp tender, about 3 minutes. Drain, transfer to a large bowl and stir in the 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Coarsely chop 8 of the lemon slices and fold them in. Season with salt.
  5. Scoop 1/3-cup mounds of the pea puree onto plates and spoon the warm peas alongside. Peel the top sheet of wax paper off the smashed black garlic and, using a small offset spatula, lay 2 garlic cloves on each mound of pea puree. Arrange 1 slice of lemon confiture on the garlic and garnish the salads with pea shoots, radishes, small mint leaves, chives, marcona almonds and edible flowers. Serve right away.
Make Ahead The ricotta-pea puree can be refrigerated overnight. The lemon confiture can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. Notes Black garlic is fermented and has a sweet, molasses-like flavor. It's available at specialty food shops and at blackgarlic.com.

Suggested Pairing

Zippy, green apple–scented northern Italian Pinot Grigio.

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