Smashed Pea Toasts with Turmeric Spiced Oil and Fresh Herbs

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Recipe and photos by Olaiya Land

Serves 4–6 | 45 minutes

6 thick slices country bread

3–4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

kosher or flaky sea salt

6 tablespoons neutral-tasting, high-heat oil (I use avocado oil.)

1-inch piece fresh turmeric, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons black mustard seeds

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

2 cups English peas (from about 1 1/2 pounds unshelled peas)

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon crème fraîche

2 limes

1 tablespoon chives, finely sliced

3 tablespoons mint leaves, roughly torn if large

Preheat grill or grill pan to high. Brush the bread on both sides with olive oil and salt lightly. Cook the bread until grill marks appear and the first side is toasty. Turn and repeat. Set the bread aside to cool while you prepare the topping.

Place the neutral-tasting oil and turmeric in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until the turmeric begins to sizzle and the oil turns bright yellow, 3–4 minutes. Carefully remove the turmeric with a slotted spoon and discard. Add mustard and cumin seeds and cook until the mustard seeds start to pop, 1–2 minutes. Immediately transfer the oil to a heat-proof container and set aside to cool.

Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water, salt generously (you want your water to taste like the ocean), and heat over high heat. When the water comes to the boil, add peas and cook until tender but still bright green, 2–4 minutes, depending on the size. Take care not to overcook them, or they’ll lose their bright color. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Transfer the cooled peas to the bowl of a food processor (you can also use a hand blender). Add 1 tablespoon crème fraîche, 1/2 teaspoon lime juice, a pinch of salt, and 1 teaspoon of the spiced soil. Pulse the pea mixture until you obtain a rough pea puree. You don’t want it to be too smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings.

To serve, spread 2 tablespoons of crème fraîche on one of the toasts. Top with some of the smashed peas. Drizzle with a generous amount of the spiced oil (be sure to include the seeds — they make the dish!), then sprinkle some of the chives, mint, and salt over the top. Repeat with the rest of the toasts. Slice the remaining lime into wedges and serve alongside the toasts for guests to squeeze over the top.

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