What is it about stuff on toast that is so great? Familiarity, nostalgia or that its plain and simple one of the tastiest staple foods we eat? My earliest memory of toast is synonymous with hot butter, marmite and cucumber. A combination my granny introduced me to at a very early age. The crackle of the lightly charred bread, smothered lovingly with rapidly melting butter, the tang of salty umami and the refreshing crunch of cucumber is still probably to this day one of my favourite things to eat.
As a creature of comfort at times the familiar can be the thing that prevents us from venturing into the unknown with food. Certainly for the non-cook, experimenting with toast toppings and playing with new flavour combinations is a good place to start. This recipe is one of my current ‘I have nothing in the fridge and no time to cook’ go to dishes.
So i have been quite vague about the ‘toast’ part of this, you can really choose anything that takes your fancy – sourdough, wholemeal, but I would recommend a rye mix or a pumpernickel. I like the more robust flavour of it against the fresh peas and the cheese
Garden Pea, Fig and Goats Cheese on Toast
If you want to make this vegan, you can swap the goats cheese for a vegan soft cheese alternative. I also used frozen garden peas straight out of the freezer. No need to defrost, because by the time it hits the toast they will have melted anyway
- 2 slices of bread (ideally rye or pumpernickel)
- 1 whole garlic clove, peeled
- 1 cup garden peas
- 30g soft goats cheese, plus extra for topping
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley or basil leaves
- a squeeze of lemon juice
- 1 large ripe fig, quartered
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 spring onion, sliced finely
- rocket/ arugula, to serve
Place the thick bread slices on a grill or grill pan. Add the pan to the heat and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. (If you don’t have a grill pan, place in the toaster and toast the bread until golden brown, about 1 minute ) Once golden, rub the hot toast with the whole garlic clove, then discard the garlic.
Add 3/4 of the peas to a food processor/ or nutribullet along with the goat cheese, herbs, lemon juice, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Process for 30 sec, to achieve a chunky puree. If need be, scrape down the sides and give it another quick blitz.
Add the remaining whole peas and the spring onion to the delicious pea mash, mix and season to taste. Arrange the pea mix on top of each of the two pieces of toast. Top with the fresh figs and add little more goats cheese.
Finish with a final drizzle of olive oil and a grinding of black pepper.