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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sweet Pea & Prosciutto Crostini

Peas are one of the first things that comes to mind when I think of spring vegetables, although they are botanically a fruit (I know, who knew!?). And they happen to be one of those foods that I have mixed feelings on. I can't help but think of those mealy little things that are in almost every casserole dish. Even the color name "pea green" is usually used to describe a greenish yellow color that is no more appealing for food than it is for wall color. But then I think about the times that I have had good peas, fresh, in-season sweet peas, and my faith in them is renewed.

I decided to use the peas I picked up to make a puree for a crostini. My excitement for this was not matched by my husband. When I told him what I was making his reaction was, "Peas? Why don't you use fava beans? They're so much better!". I decided to stick to my original plan and make the pea puree, and, guess what? He loved it. He (and I) loved the sweet mellowness of the peas with the contrast of the salty prosciutto on top.

Sweet Pea & Prosciutto Crostini

Pea Puree:
1/2 lb shelled fresh peas
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped mint
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 thin slices prosciutto, broken into pieces

Crostini:
1/2 baguette, sliced into 1/2" thick slices
olive oil for drizzling

1 garlic clove

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil and cook the peas about 2 minutes. Drain peas and immediately transfer to an ice bath or run under cold water to stop the cooking process and preserve that beautiful bright green color. Transfer peas to a food processor or blender and add the parsley, mint and lemon juice. Blend until smooth and add salt and pepper to taste.

Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and, while still hot, rub the tops with the garlic clove to infuse some garlic flavor into the crostini.

Top the crostini with a tablespoon or so of the puree and top the puree with a piece of prosciutto.

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