Nothing tastes more like springtime than fresh peas! They are in markets RIGHT NOW and make the perfect base for a fresh & easy app. Fear not, fresh peas bear little to no resemblance to the grey mush served from a can that you may recall from your childhood. These seasonal gems taste light, bright and delicious!
Best yet? This appetizer takes less than 10 minutes to prepare; making it a slam-dunk for all those spring “bring an app” events that you have on the calendar.
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Spring Pea Crostini with Mint
- Baguette crisps
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas, thawed
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped mint
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Mascarpone cheese
- Shaved Parmesan
- A few drops of balsamic vinegar
- Blanch peas in a large saucepan of boiling water, about 2 minutes for fresh or 1 minute for frozen. Blanching not only tenderizes the peas but helps bring out the bright green color that makes them so perfect for this spring-y app!
- Drain peas; transfer to food processor. Add mint, salt, olive oil and PULSE until blended but portions of fully formed peas remain. Do not puree or over-process! Test for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
- Prep baguette crisps by spreading with Mascarpone cheese. TIP: A garlic-herb cheese like Boursin would also work well as a base. I used milder Mascarpone as I wanted to keep focus on the pea/mint flavor.
- Top each cheese coated crisp with about a half teaspoon of pea mixture.
- Garnish with a slice of shaved Parmesan and a drop or two of balsamic vinegar. TIP: Pour your balsamic vinegar into a small cup or ramekin and then use an eyedropper to dispense just a single drop or two onto the top of the cracker.
I like using baguette crisps because they are convenient and the perfect “single-bite” size. If you like bigger crostini or just prefer to make your own, cut a day-old baguette into slices. Brush both sides of each slice with olive oil. Grill or cook on a stove-top grill pan for a minute or two on each side, or until crisp and golden.
Fresh & Easy App Variations
Italian Pesto Style Spring Pea Crostini
Replace the mint with basil and add 1/4 to 1/3 cup Parmesan and half teaspoon minced garlic to the mixture before processing. Top with half of a grape tomato for garnish.
Dill & Feta Spring Pea Crostini
Reduce oil to 1 tablespoon and add 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Replace mint with dill and add 1/4 to 1/3 cup feta cheese and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes to mixture before processing.
Have a great weekend and Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s out there. Until next time….keep cultivating that simple, stylish and satisfying life!