Simple Sweet Pea Crostini

Here’s a quick appetizer recipe that captures the summertime fresh produce from the garden: simple sweet pea crostini. Try this one at home or to impress friends at a backyard bbq or potluck. It’s easy and quick to prepare, but your guests will believe you spent more time in the kitchen to get such incredible flavor and a beautiful presentation.

Sweet pea crostini

Prepare the Baguette

Buy a fresh baguette from the great local bakery for this recipe. It will be so worth the extra expense to have delicious, artisanal bread. Cut into ¼-1/2” thick slices – the thinner slices will be crispier after toasting in the oven so if you want a chewy crostini, thicker slices will be better. Brush both sides of the slices with olive oil, and then rub a clove of garlic of the surfaces. Microscopic bits of garlic will become incorporated into the nooks and crannies of the bread. Place in a 375-degree oven and toast for 8-10 minutes. Watch carefully – this bread can burn quickly if you leave it too long.

Prepare the Peas

The delicious spread for this recipe is simple so as not to detract from the superstar ingredient: fresh garden peas. Fresh is best, although this recipe works fine with frozen peas as well. Simply thaw and rinse them, blotting them to remove any excess moisture. About 2 ½ cups of peas will create enough spread for the baguette slices in this recipe. Place the peas into a food processor with spices of your choice. Classic combinations for peas include fresh mint, garlic, salt and pepper. You can also add ricotta cheese, grated parmesan or even avocado to change up the flavor and create a creamy spread. Pulse in the food processor, along with 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil, and add more oil until desired consistence is reached. If you don’t have a food processor, this step can be done in a blender or even by hand with a fork. It will create a chunkier (we call it rustic) spread but the flavor will still be amazing.

Top the cooled baguette slices with a dollop of the pea mixture. You can serve this crostini just as it is, or top the mixture with another flavor dimension. Try small slices of thin prosciutto, a cube of cantaloupe, or a red grape. You’ll get another dimension of flavor.

This recipe is simply beautiful on the plate. The bright green peas, the toasted bread and if you use garnish on top, it looks amazing and tastes even better. This recipe is great because, unlike appetizers or salads with mayonnaise, it can withstand a little time in the sun without worry. Plus, this recipe is easy to modify to suit your tastes – incorporate any number of ingredients such as roasted red peppers, red pepper flakes, or red onion. The possibilities are endless and you’ll love all of the flavor combinations you will try with this recipe.

Summertime is a great time to experiment with recipes that use flavors fresh from the garden. This simple sweet pea crostini captures the tastes of summer without keeping you in the kitchen. Try it today.