Spring superstars: Annie Bell’s pea, avocado & watercress mezze

I love the gentle sweetness of this dip, and its rustic nature. It’s hard to stop scooping once you start!

pea, avocado and watercress mezze
Ellis Parrinder


150g peas (fresh or frozen)
2 avocados, roughly chopped
1 heaped tsp chopped shallot
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
Pinch of cayenne pepper
50g watercress
6 mint leaves
Radishes with leaves, cocktail gherkins and warm flatbread, to serve

  1. Bring a small pan of water to the boil, add the peas and cook for 3-5 minutes until tender if fresh (or according to the packet instructions if frozen). Drain using a sieve, return to the pan, refill with cold water and set aside.
  2. Place the avocados, shallot, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper in a food processor and whiz to a silky purée. Reserve a few small leaves of watercress then add the remainder plus the mint leaves and whiz until flecked with the green of the leaves. Drain the peas, reserving a tablespoon of them, add the remainder to the purée and pulse to coarsely chop.
  3. Smooth the mezze over a dinner plate, swirling the surface, drip a little olive oil over then scatter with the reserved watercress leaves and peas. Accompany with the radishes, gherkins and flatbread.

Recipes: Annie Bell. Photographs: Ellis Parrinder. Food styling: Lou Kenney. Styling: Charlie Phillips