Peas are the harbinger of spring, and I am always ready for them. At the beginning of the season, they are sweet and tender. This is an easy and delicious appetizer. Or this dish can be made in any season with frozen peas, which I always find to be very pleasing.
Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil.
Blanch the peas in briskly boiling salted water until a little soft, 1 to 2 minutes, then retire to ice water and remove. Blanch the snow peas for about 30 seconds, then place in the ice water. Drain and set aside in a small bowl.
Place the peas in a food processor, then break up or pulse until coarsely crushed. Incorporate about 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and the juice of 1/2 lemon. It should be bright but not overly acidic. Season with salt and pepper and add 2 tablespoons julienned mint.
Mix together the julienne of snow peas and red onion in a small bowl and dress with about 2 tablespoons olive oil, the remaining lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
Brush the bread slices with about 2 tablespoons olive oil and grill on both sides until nicely charred, 2 to 3 minutes.
Place the ricotta in a bowl, then add the remaining 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, zest of 1/2 lemon, salt and pepper and mix well.
Spread each piece of bread with the ricotta and top with the crushed peas. Place on top of the snow pea mixture, then garnish with the mint leaves and Parmesan.