Crushed Peas with Feta and Scallions

Yield: Serves 4-6 as an appetizer

This dish benefits from the best of ingredients. Full, fruity olive oil, fresh peas, and greek-style yogurt really make a difference. Frozen peas work as well, so do not be deterred if that is your option.  This is super tasty served with crackers or vegetables for dipping. It would also make an elegant starter for any meal as a topping for grilled pita (simply brush pita with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and oregano, and grill briefly).

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 pounds peas in the pod, or 1 1/2 cups frozen organic peas or petit pois
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons fruity olive oil
  • 1/2 pound reduced-fat feta
  • 1/2 pound fat-free, plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced with a little coarse salt
  • a bunch of scallions, trimmed and finely sliced
  • a large handful of mint leaves, shredded
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • coarse salt and black pepper

Procedure:

  1. If using fresh peas, shell them and cook briefly in boiling water until al dente, then drain well and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and crush them coarsely with a potato masher.
  2. If you are using frozen peas, blanch them briefly, drain exceptionally well, and crush before adding the oil, pouring off any more excess water at this stage; add the oil bit by bit and less liberally.
  3. Mash the feta and yogurt together in a shallow bowl. While the peas are still hot, add the feta and toss to combine. This is all about texture, not smoothness, as for a dip. Add the minced garlic.
  4. Now add the scallions and 2 tablespoons shredded mint. Stir in the juice of half a lemon to start with. Season with pepper and a little salt, if you think it is needed; feta is pretty salty. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more lemon juice, mint, or olive oil if you like.

Adapted from epicurious.com

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