Spring garlic also called green garlic is simply the immature garlic plant, harvested before the bulb has fully developed. It looks like a small leek or scallion and has a milder flavor than mature garlic. The same principle applies to pea shoots, which are the first viney greens to appear when a pea is planted in the soil. Their delicate leaves and tendrils have a concentrated fresh pea taste.
- Yield: 12 appetizers
- Preparation Time: 25 Minutes
- 12 large fresh mushrooms (1½ to 2 inches in diameter)
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 cup shelled fresh English peas (1 pound in pods)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 to 2 teaspoons snipped fresh mint
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh spring garlic
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padana cheese
- Pea shoots or small fresh mint leaves (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Clean mushrooms. Remove stems from mushrooms; discard stems or save for another use. Place mushroom caps, stem sides down, in a 15×10×1-inch baking pan. Lightly coat the rounded side of each mushroom cap with cooking spray. Bake for 5 minutes. Carefully place mushroom caps, stem sides down, on a double thickness of paper towels to drain while preparing filling. Set pan aside.
- For hummus, fill a medium saucepan half full of water. Bring to boiling. Add peas and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or just until tender. Drain and quickly add to a large bowl of ice water to cool quickly. Drain peas well. Place ¾ cup of the peas in a blender or food processor. Add olive oil, lemon peel, lemon juice, and 1 to 2 teaspoons mint. Cover and blend or process until almost smooth. Transfer pea mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in the remaining peas and the spring garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
- Spoon hummus into mushroom caps. Arrange the stuffed mushroom caps in the baking pan. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake about 8 minutes more or until heated through and cheese melts. Serve warm or at room temperature. If desired, garnish with pea shoots or mint leaves.