1cupshelled peas (from about 1 1/4 pounds English peas)
8ouncesgood-quality whole-milk ricotta (such as Bellwether Farm)(about 1 cup)
2large eggs, separated
1/4cupfreshly grated Parmesan
zest of 1 lemon
2tablespoonssweet rice flour
1-2tablespoonschopped chives (optional)
To finish the cakes:
a few tablespoons of ghee, coconut oil, or light olive oil for frying
good olive oil
flaky salt and black pepper
Make the batter:
In a wide skillet, heat the olive oil over a medium flame until it shimmers. Add the diced shallot, and crumble in the saffron threads. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shallot is tender, 5 minutes. Add the peas and cook, stirring occasionally, until bright green, 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, egg yolks, salt, Parmesan, lemon zest, and the sweet rice and millet flours in a large bowl, and stir to combine. Gently stir in the shallot/pea mixture and the chives until combined.
In a medium bowl with a balloon whisk (or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachmenwhip the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Stir 1/3 of the whipped whites into the batter to loosen it up, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites until just combined.
Cook the cakes:
Heat a wide skillet over a medium flame and add enough of the cooking oil of your choice (I like ghee the besto coat the bottom. When the oil shimmers, drop two or three 1/4-cup scoops of batter into the pan, spacing them well apart (a spring-loaded ice cream scoop works well for this). Cook until the first side is golden, 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook on the second side until golden and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Remove to a platter. (Optionally, place in a warm oven while you cook the rest). Repeat with the remaining batter.
Serve the cakes topped with a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, and sprinkle of flaky salt, black pepper, and snipped chives. Extras can be chilled and re-heated in a skillet.
Inspired by Plow's Ricotta Pancakes and Ileana's Ricotta Pea Pancakes.These cakes are all about the ricotta, so do get the good stuff (or make your own). Bellwether's basket-dipped whole milk ricotta is so good, I eat it by the spoonful.If gluten isn't an issue for you and your guests, feel free to use all-purpose flour in place of the sweet rice and millet. I'm guessing that any gluten-free all-purpose blend will work, too.A squeeze of lemon on these cakes really makes them pop.To minimize sticking when cooking the cakes, make sure the pan and oil are hot before adding the pancake batter, let the bottom get well-bronzed before flipping, and use a thin, metal spatula to turn the cakes.The batter can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated; cooked cakes also reheat well.Nutritional values are based on one of twelve pancakes.