Crostini are the perfect garden party appetizer and vehicle for spring-inspired spreads and toppings. I can’t get over how “springy” these came out and now I am regretting not making them earlier in the season!
Crostini are ancient hors d’oeurves thought to originate as early as medieval times when peasants would use bread instead of plates to eat their meals. The word crostino means “little toasts” which is appropriate for what they essentially are. Simply sliced baguettes brushed with olive oil, baked in the oven for a few minutes and topped with a variety of spreads– an easy and elegant appetizer for any occasion.
I have included the recipe for the spring pea purée, which can truly be used in a variety of ways—pasta, pizza and fresh fish come to mind. I think this sweet and creamy pea purée is an elegant and delicious way to bid farewell to this cool season crop as it really starts to warm up for summer here in northern California… but I’ll let you be the judge!
Peas: This sweet and starchy legume is a surprising source of vitamin K. Beyond blood clotting, vitamin K is recognized for its role in maintaining bone health and keeping arteries free from calcification. Manganese is another nutrient is boasts, which helps maintain skin integrity and is likely involved in bone production.
Asparagus: These green spears are also vitamin K-rich and boast folate, an essential nutrient for moms to-be.
Radish: These crunchy veggies provide digestive benefit through their amylase enzymes while their vitamin C keeps our collagen-producing abilities up-regulated and our skin elastic and resilient.
Strawberries: Contrary to popular belief, strawberries are an even more potent source of vitamin C than oranges. Their documented cardiovascular benefits are throught to be due to their outstanding antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrient content.
- 1 cup peas
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- Juice of a small lemon
- 1 small clove minced garlic
- Toppings: cooked asparagus spears (tops), radish slices, strawberry slices
- 1 loaf of rustic bread, sliced
- Olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- Place bread slices on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Bake them for about 5-10 minutes.
- Cook peas in boiling water to soften.
- Place peas, basil, tahini, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor and blend to your desired consistency. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl.
- Top bread slices with pea purée mixture and sliced produce.