Sometimes I just get on a kick; I will become obsessed with an ingredient or dish, and eat nothing but variations on a theme. Last year at this time I was all about asparagus. This year, it seems my seasonal love affair is with peas. Since we’re already on the subject, I thought I would present another new favorite recipe for these little darlings.

Pea and ricotta crostini
Fresh with the brightness of lemon and rich with the supple texture of ricotta, these crostini are great as an hors d'oeuvre or starter. Alternatively, serve them as a garnish with a spring minestrone or other broth-based soup.

1 cup petit pois/peas (defrosted if frozen)
3 tablespoons ricotta cheese
Lemon zest (see note)
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

To serve
Toasted slices of baguette
Parmesan shavings or shards

In a small pot of boiling salted water, blanch the peas. Cook until tender, approximately 1 to 2 minutes (depending on their size). Once cooked, remove peas to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and set their colour.

In a mortar and pestle, or a small food processor, mash the peas to form a coarse paste. Stir in the ricotta and lemon zest and enough olive oil to reach the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To serve, mound purée onto slices of freshly toasted baguette and garnish with parmesan cheese.
Makes about 1/2 cup of purée.

• I use just a few grates of lemon zest - about 1/8 of a teaspoon or so. It is really to taste, so trust your own judgement. Alternatively you can use a squeeze of lemon juice instead.
• This purée can also be tossed with cooked pasta for a quick supper. In this case, I would add some chopped parsley, whole watercress or torn arugula and additional cheese, with olive oil to loosen.