April 2024

Super Green Spring

serves 6


For the date jam
1 cup pitted dates
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
fine sea salt

For the Meyer lemon ricotta
1 cup ricotta
zest and juice of 1/2 Meyer lemon
pinch of fine sea salt

For the mint salsa verde

1/2 small shallot, minced
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
fine sea salt
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 salt-packed capers, rinsed and chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the peas

3 3/4 cups snap peas
1 cup shelled fresh English peas (from 1 pound in the pod)
2 small bunches pea tendrils

To serve
1/2 Meyer lemon
really good olive oil
fleur de sel


Make the date jam. Place the dates in a small pot and cover with at least one inch of water. Simmer until falling-apart tender, about six minutes. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve, then transfer to a small bowl. Use a fork to mash the dates to a rough puree. If you have a mortar and pestle, that is an even better way to pound the dates smooth. If you like, you can triple or quadruple this recipe to make a big batch. Date jam is wonderful stirred into plain yogurt or schmeared on toast and sprinkled with ground cinnamon. Mix in the apple cider vinegar and season with salt to taste. (If making ahead, store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to two weeks). Make the Meyer lemon ricotta. In a bowl, stir together the ricotta, lemon zest, a squeeze of the lemon juice, and salt. Taste, adding a bit more lemon juice and/or salt, if desired. (If making ahead, store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to two days. Make the salsa verde. Combine the shallot, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, and a tiny pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Let the shallot soften for about five minutes. Stir in the mint, parsley, capers, and oil. Taste and adjust the seasonings as you like. (If making ahead, pour a half inch deep cap of olive oil over the salsa verde and store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to three days. Make the peas. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Fill a bowl with ice water and keep it nearby. Snip off the ends of the snap peas and remove their strings. Slice them thinly on the bias. Boil the snap peas and English peas for ten seconds, then use a slotted spoon to drop them into the ice water and let cool completely. Drain, then spread out on paper towels to dry. To serve, in a large bowl, toss the snap peas, English peas, and pea tendrils with a big squeeze of Meyer lemon juice, a drizzle of oil, and generous pinch of fleur de sel. Smear some of the date jam across the bottom of six plates or a large platter. Spread the Meyer lemon ricotta on top of the date jam. Divide the pea salad among the plates, using your fingers to lift the salad and give it some good height. Drizzle some mint salsa verde over each salad.

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