Meat Free Monday One day a week can make a world of difference

Herbed Pea Ricotta, Tomatoes and Basil

Terry Hope Romero
  • Serves: 3-4
  • Preparation: 15
  • Cooking: 15
  • Ready: 30

A creamy and decadent sweet pea and cashew “ricotta”, perfect slathered over big juicy slabs of the best summer tomatoes.


For the green pea ricotta

  • 2 cups/300g frozen peas, thawed for 6 hours or overnight in the refrigerator
  • ½ cup/60 g unroasted cashews
  • ½ cup/120 ml water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, basil, or dill

For the salad

  • 2 pounds/450 g juicy, perfectly ripe tomatoes, red or a mix of heirloom colours
  • 1 cup/115 g fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • good quality balsamic vinegar
  • few twists of freshly ground black pepper


While the peas thaw, soak the cashews with the water in a glass container in the refrigerator.

Drain the cashews and transfer to a food processor. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pulse into a thick paste, occasionally scraping down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.

Add the peas and chopped fresh herbs to the cashews. Pulse and scrape into a fluffy, smooth paste. Taste the pea ricotta and add more lemon and salt if needed. Transfer to a container, tightly cover, and chill for at least 10 minutes for the flavours to blend.

When ready to serve, slice the tomatoes into thick slabs and arrange on a serving plate. Top each slice with a generous dollop of pea ricotta and garnish with a basil leaf. Drizzle each slice with olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar, and dust with a garnish of freshly ground pepper. Serve as is or with slices of crusty bread.

Additonal notes

From Salad Samurai: 100 Cutting-Edge, Ultra-Hearty, Easy-to-Make Salads You Don’t Have to Be Vegan to Love by Terry Hope Romero. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.

“Salad caprese, that perfect arrangement of mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil dressed in oil and balsamic, gives me a serious case of salad envy. To further complicate things, I’m not a fan of store-bought vegan mozz. But who cares when it’s easy to whip up a creamy and decadent sweet pea and cashew “ricotta” to slather over big juicy slabs of the best summer tomatoes? Don’t be stingy with the fresh basil, and use the best extra-virgin olive oil and the sweetest balsamic vinegar you can find for this unforgettable way to relish peak summer tomatoes. Pro tip: stuff cherry tomatoes with the ricotta and chiffonaded basil for ultra-fresh summertime appetisers!”

Twitter: @TerryHope
Instagram: @TerryHope

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