Pea Cakes + Grilled Asparagus + Hello, Summer!
Dear summer, I love your sunshine caressing my face and I love your balmy breeze against my skin. I love your dappled light dancing through the trees and I love your dewy grass brushing against my feet. But above all, I love your bright-eyed flowers, your multi-coloured fruits, and your sun-kissed vegetables.
They say that we reap what we sow and we glean what we scatter. In the summer, beautiful English peas, jewel-hued radishes, and lively asparagus show their bounty and fill my basket. Hmm, it would be terrible not to do anything with them. A little bit of inspiration simmered in my head…
Little pea cakes with country sausage (adapted from Aran Goyoaga, whose wonderful cookbook is here), Greek yogurt tzatziki, and microgreens…
Grilled asparagus and radishes, sprinkled with chive blossoms, seasoned with lemon salt…
I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the beginning of summer than with the freshest produce of the season…and the prettiest flowers!
We brushed the asparagus with oil, fired up the grill, and gently laid the spears down to rest. They sizzled and seethed until they surrendered, before a lashing of lemon salt (homemade with Maldon sea salt flakes and lemon zest) came!
We picked the plumpest English peas and we shelled all of them, gathering the tiny green pearls cocooned in the pods. I must say that the kids enjoyed using their tiny fingers to carefully roll out the peas – it’s a great way to lull away a lazy summer afternoon.
So we picked, we mushed, and we rolled. And then, there were little green patty cakes…! Perfect bite-sized (or two-bite) hors d’oeuvres that remind you of summer picnics in the park or chi-chi rooftop parties under the stars.
Recipe adapted from Aran’s Cannelle et Vanille blog.
- 8 oz (225 g) shelled English peas
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons superfine brown rice flour
- 1 tablespoon millet flour
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more for blanching water
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + more as needed
- mild Italian sausages, sliced thinly
- 2 oz Greek yogurt tzatziki, homemade or store-bought
- pea shoots or microgreens
- Bring water to a boil in a medium pot. Season water with plenty of sea salt - water should taste like the sea.
- Add the peas and cook 3 to 5 minutes until they are tender but not mushy.
- Drain the peas and shock in an ice water bath to prevent further cooking.
- Combine half the peas and the coconut milk in the food processor and pureé until smooth.
- Mash the other half of the peas with a fork.
- Whisk together the pea pureé, egg, brown rice flour, millet flour, salt, and baking soda. Gently fold in the mashed peas.
- In a skillet over medium high heat, brush the olive oil on. Drop 1 heaping tablespoon of batter on to the skillet. When the sides start to set and small bubbles appear, flip the pancakes carefully and finish cooking for another minute or so.
- Repeat until all the batter is used.
- Top cakes with tzatziki yogurt, sliced sausages, and pea shoots. Makes about 8 cakes.