Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sweet pea...

While watching the Food Network one day I witnessed Giada De Laurentiis make the most amazing dish. It was a salmon served over this pea puree sitting in a pool of lemony broth. A few months later she made a similar pea puree but this time it was made into crostini. This pea "pesto" has since made regular appearances at our dinner table. Nowadays I don't even follow the recipe; I just eyeball the amounts and sometimes leave out the parmesan for a lighter taste. I defrost the organic frozen peas in the morning and when they are thawed out, I pulse them together in the food processor with the other ingredients. It's such a versatile ingredient. You can use it in place of guacamole and serve it with tortilla chips. Peas are lower in fat and less expensive than avocados (don't get me wrong, I LOVE avocados and their fat is the "good" kind) and have this natural sweetness. I've even had it with scrambled eggs and toast. So delicious! It's a great secret weapon when entertaining. You can serve it as an appetizer (served with tortilla chips, pea pesto crostini). You can use it as an elegant side and/or condiment. I think I might try spreading it onto toasted bread and adding some grilled veggies next for a super vegetarian sandwich!

Pea Pesto Crostini

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis


* 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas, defrosted
* 1 garlic clove
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
* 1/3 cup olive oil


* 8 (1/2-inch thick) slices whole-grain baguette or ciabatta bread, preferably day-old, * see Cook's Note
* 1/3 cup olive oil
* 8 cherry tomatoes, halved or 1 small tomato, diced


For the pea pesto: Pulse together the peas, garlic, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a food processor. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil until well combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

For the crostini: Preheat a stovetop griddle or grill pan on medium-high heat. Brush both sides of the sliced bread with olive oil and grill until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the bread to a clean surface and spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of the prepared pesto on each slice.

Top with tomato halves and serve.

*Cook's note: If you don't have day-old bread on hand, you can dry out fresh bread by putting the slices in a preheated 300 degree F oven until slightly crisp, about 5 minutes.


  1. Yum! Can't wait to try this... sounds super delicious and healthy!

  2. I omitted the garlic and my baby girl was eating the pea pesto by the spoonful out of a bowl! So now I can add "baby food" to its repertoire.