Not too long ago I took a cooking class at Sur La Table with some of my fave girlfriends. It was so much fun! A great way to spend an afternoon or evening with your friends… We definitely shared lots of laughs! And, obviously, you get to try some fabulous new recipes that you can impress your family and friends with later 😉
While we prepared several things, my favorite was the Crostini with Sweet Pea Puree and Pancetta. This bright green pea puree on grilled rustic bread bursts with spring flavor. I love how the salty pancetta paired with the sweetness of the peas. When in season, fresh shelled peas are recommended for the freshest flavor, but frozen peas make a delicious spread as well. These would make a perfect accompaniment to a summer day soiree, an evening dinner party, or really just anytime. If you are gluten sensitive you can make these with gluten free bread.
I loved these! I hope you will too!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 cups fresh peas, or frozen and thawed
- 1/2 cup mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing and garnish
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 loaf rustic Italian bread (or gluten free bread)
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled and halved
- 4 ounces pancetta, finely diced
- 2 ounces Pecorino-Romano, shaved
To prepare fresh peas: (If using frozen peas skip this step) Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Bring a medium saucepan filled halfway with water to a boil and season generously with salt. Add peas and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer peas into the ice bath. Once chilled, drain the peas.
To prepare pea puree: Place peas, mint, cream, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and lemon juice in a blender and puree until very smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and additional lemon juice.
To prepare grilled bread: Preheat grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Using a silicone pastry brush, lightly coat the sliced bread with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Grill each side of bread until lightly charred around the edges and well-marked, about 4 minutes per side. Rub the warm bread slices with the cut side of the garlic cloves. This really kicks up the flavor!
In a small skillet over medium-high heat, add remaining olive oil. When oil is shimmering, add pancetta and cook until crispy, about 3 – 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a paper towel-lined plate.
Using a small spatula, apply 1/4 inch of pea puree on top of each slice of grilled bread. Top pea puree with crispy pancetta, shaved pecorino, and a light drizzle of olive oil. You should end up with 12 – 16 crostini with this recipe.
Arrange on a platter and serve! They won’t last long!
I’d love to hear what you think after trying these!