Photo by SanFranAnnie/FlickrCC
"Mashed" must be on my mind because I had this very, very good little appetizer at Bar Bambino in the Mission District while I was in San Francisco not long ago. It was actually so good I stopped back a second time later in the week to eat it again. The idea was an obvious one once I had it, but I've never seen it anywhere else, so I figured it was worth sharing here.
I've long loved fresh peas. I wait for them every spring to make the Venetian Risi e Bisi (risotto with fresh peas, best made with the small grained Vialone Nano). I like peas for salads, soups, pastas, etc. Anyways, this dish was especially easy for me to make because even if you're lazy like I am, you can buy already shelled fresh peas out at the market. It's cheaper, of course, to shell 'em yourself, but time is tight for me so...
In any case, to make this, simply cook the raw peas in just a bit of salted water, 'til they're tender (or, alternatively, you can steam them). If you're not used to cooking peas, they take longer than you'd think. Maybe 15 minutes of slowish simmering. When they're very soft, drain well. Mash them and mix with good olive oil. Add some salt and black pepper. Add a few leaves of chopped fresh mint. Let the mash sit for 10 or 15 minutes, then taste it for salt and pepper.