We ate a wonderful dish at Franny’s a few weeks ago of sugar snap peas (my favorite springtime vegetable) served on a cloud of whipped ricotta resting in a sea of olive oil. It was such a beautiful dish–the bright greenness of the snap peas, the cooling creaminess of the ricotta–that not only did I serve it as an appetizer at the dinner I cooked for Lizzie and Tyla, but I also served it again two days later when I cooked a dinner for Diana’s birthday. And both times it was a big hit.
So here’s the original dish at Franny’s:
Certain elements on the plate are easy to identify: the olive oil, the whipped ricotta, the snap peas. Resting on top is what looks like broccolini, but I’m not really sure. I’m also not sure what that thin white disc is in the middle–a slivered shallot?
Suffice it to say, when I recreated this, I kept it simple. I started by stringing the sugar snap peas (yanking the stemmy end across the top); then I blanched them in salted boiling water for a very fast 15 seconds. I didn’t want the snap peas to lose their snap, but I didn’t want them completely raw either. I shocked them in ice water:
Then I strained them and tossed them with olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper and torn mint. The 2nd time I made this (and I think it was better the second time) I also added slivered shallots and instead of torn mint, I chopped the mint. Taste and adjust until the balance is to your liking.
As for the ricotta, this is a great technique you need to know. I wrote about it once before here. Add fresh ricotta to your stand mixer:
Whip it around and slowly drizzle in some milk. I say “some milk” and not a specific amount because you want to add just enough (a few tablespoons, really) so the ricotta becomes light and airy. And that’s it!
To plate: spoon the whipped ricotta onto a plate, drizzle on some olive oil (the best you have) and top with the sugar snap peas. That’s your perfect springtime dish. You can thank me (and Franny’s) later.