Being in southern California there are so many things that are twisted to be Mexican in taste. This is the case for my newest culinary interest – mushy peas.
As far as I know this is a pretty common dish in other places than America. It actually sounds pretty weird, boiled mashed up peas served on toast. My thought was – served this way how could you not taste the sweet fresh peas pretty obviously? I was in, since I’m always looking for ways to eat peas and really taste them.
I had told you it’s really hard to find fresh peas around my area. I looked at my normal farmers market but all I could find was fava beans. I even made a special trip to the farmers market where I have found the peas in the shell before. I searched every stall. I did find a huge bucket of tiny squash blossoms that were just begging for me to eat them. Don’t worry I’ll get to that another day.
I also found some amazing lobster mac and cheese from a food truck at this farmers market, and huge sweet maui onions that I want to make into onion rings. But after all that searching I never found peas. I resolved that I would be happy with my back up plan – frozen peas.
The next day, Bradley and I ran a bunch of errands including our local costco. We went into the produce section and my man with eagle eyes practically shouted in my ear, “Peas!” What?? Well hey lookie that! They had a big bag of fresh peas right there in the produce section. I was thrilled!
So I was in business to make these mushy peas and I was craving that sweetness I wanted so desperately from them. The actual process was simple. I boiled them for about 5 minutes until they were just past al dente, shocked them in ice water then mashed them with a bit of butter and salt. It was so simple but I could eat that whole bowl with a spoon. I think I am starting to understand this mushy peas concept.
But of course I thought I would throw my “mexican-california” flair on it. This was actually Bradley’s genius idea since I kept tossing this, that and the other at this recipe. He suggested roasting corn and making a salsa to put on top of the peas. Thankfully my mom commandeered a bag of frozen roasted chiles for me recently, so I was excited to try them. It really added the kick I needed to the salsa.
So here’s what I did to bring it all together. I heated up that lovely giant new barbecue and threw the corn on it to char. I sliced a baguette up, brush the slices with olive oil and put them on the grill for just a few minutes until they start to brown and get toasty. To serve, I put a nice spoonful of mushy peas on a toast then topped with a scoop of roasted corn salsa. It’s a perfect bite mix of sweet and spicy, and just the way I want to start a southern California Cinco de Mayo party!
- 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 ears sweet corn, shucked
- 1 baguette, sliced into ½ inch slices
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup chopped tomato
- 1 anaheim chile pepper, roasted and chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Boil the peas until soft, about 5-8 minutes. Shock in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and keep the green color bright. Mash the peas with butter and salt until almost smooth.
- Heat a grill to medium high. Roast the corn 10 minutes or until sweet and charred, rotating every few minutes. Brush slices of baguette with a little olive oil and add to the grill a few minutes before the corn is done. Remove when light brown and toasty.
- Let the corn cool after you take it off the grill, cut off the cob and toss in a bowl with tomatoes, chile pepper and salt and pepper. Let sit for flavors to meld.
- Serve baguette slices topped with pea mash and corn salsa.