Pea and Mint Bruschetta
by Miyoko Schinner author, Artisan Vegan Cheese
These are like a party in your mouth with flavors that zazzle and pop. Just minutes to make, they are a wonderful quick appetizer for any party – not just the one in your mouth.
12 to 16 quarter-inch slices of baguette or ciabatta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup Marcona almonds, chopped
1/4 cup roughly chopped shallots
A few tablespoons of water for sautéing
2 cups sweet peas, either fresh or frozen
1/2 cup lightly packed mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Start by making the crostini. Lightly brush the sliced bread on both sides with olive oil. Place the slices on a sheet pan in a single layer and bake until crispy, about 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make the topping. Sauté the shallots in a little water or oil until tender. Add the peas to the shallots with a couple of tablespoons of water and cook just until tender. Fresh peas may take a few minutes longer than frozen; if using frozen, cook only long enough to thaw. If using frozen peas that are already thawed, you do not need to cook them at all – just mix with the shallots off the heat.
3. Transfer the peas to a food processor and add the remaining ingredients. Pulse to retain a slightly textured consistency – you don’t want it to be smooth like a paste.
4. To assemble, place a couple of tablespoons of the pea-mint pesto on a crostini and sprinkle with chopped Marcona almonds. Pass around and have a party.