Sweet Pea And Ricotta Crostini
When it comes to hosting summer gatherings, this sweet pea and ricotta crostini is a versatile and elegant choice. This delectable appetizer combines the rustic charm of crostini with the vibrant flavors of sweet peas and creamy ricotta cheese. Embrace the summer season and the abundance of healthful vegetables and fruits that come along with it. This is a recipe my husband absolutely adores, so in his honor (and in recognition of our 21st wedding anniversary today), I’m sharing it.
History of Crostini
Crostini, meaning “little toasts” in Italian, dates back to medieval times when stale bread was in need of use. Over time, this humble dish transformed into a beloved appetizer served at formal and casual gatherings. Today, crostini is synonymous with toasted baguette slices, topped with various sweet and savory ingredients that tantalize our taste buds.
Fresh vs. Frozen
Sweet peas, are a spring and summertime delight, that are not only delicious but also offer numerous health benefits. These vibrant green gems are a loaded with fiber as well as vitamin A, C, and K. Peas are also a great source of essential minerals like iron and potassium. In addition, they also contain powerful antioxidants that promote overall well-being.
- Fresh Green Peas: Fresh peas are harvested at peak ripeness to retain their optimal nutrient content. They are known for their beautiful vibrant color, crisp texture, and sweet taste. The downside is fresh peas have a shorter shelf life and may require more preparation time, such as shelling.
- Frozen Green Peas: Frozen peas are harvested at peak freshness and frozen immediately to preserve their nutrients. Freezing helps retain the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants present in the peas. The best part, frozen peas are readily available year-round.
Ultimately, the choice between fresh and frozen peas really depends on personal preference, availability, and convenience and each work perfectly this recipe.
One of the many charms of sweet pea crostini is its simplicity. With just a handful of ingredients and a few minutes in the kitchen, you can create a visually stunning and flavor-packed appetizer. The vibrant green color of the pea spread atop crispy bread is an instant eye-catcher. Moreover, the delicate sweetness of peas pairs beautifully with the creamy ricotta cheese and crispy salty bacon crumble.
Sweet pea crostini is a wonderful appetizer that combines the historical tradition of crostini with the delightful flavors and health benefits of sweet peas. With its simplicity and versatility, this dish is perfect for entertaining guests or simply treating yourself to a delightful snack. So, gather your loved ones, toast some baguette slices, and savor the fresh and vibrant taste of sweet pea crostini.
Sweet Pea & Ricotta Crostini With Crispy Bacon
- 1 sourdough (or other) baguette, sliced diagonally 1/2-inch thick
- 5 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup fresh or frozen organic sweet green peas
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh mint, finely chopped
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup ricotta cheese, divided
- dash of cayenne pepper
- 4 slices thick slab bacon, cooked until crispy and roughly chopped
- 2 Tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
- flaky sea salt, for garnish
- Step 1 Preheat the oven 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Step 2 Lay the bread on the prepared baking sheet without overlapping. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush one side of the bread with three tablespoons olive oil. Place in the oven and bake until lightly golden, about 8-10 minutes.
- Step 3 Fill a small saucepan halfway with water and place over high heat. When boiling, add the peas and blanch until the peas are a vibrant green, about 1 minute. Drain the peas and run under cold water to stop the cooking process, set aside.
- Step 4 Using a food processor, such as a Cuisinart, fitted with a blade attachment, add the the peas, salt, pepper, mint, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese and a dash or two of cayenne pepper. Blend on high, scrapping down the sides as needed, until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Add the 2 remaining tablespoons of olive oil and pulse until combined.
- Step 5 To assemble the crostini, spread a generous tablespoon of the pea- ricotta puree on the toasted crostini. Top with some additional ricotta, crispy bacon, parsley, and flaky sea salt.