December 1, 2015

Pea Pesto Crostini

The Christmas season is here!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  It's hard to believe that Christmas is less than a month away now.   This time of the year is always so happy (and it flies by so quickly!).

If you are looking for a festive appetizer to bring to your next Christmas party, check out this pea pesto crostini.  It's light, fresh, and easy to make (thanks to the food processor!).  This pesto is a little sweeter than your traditional pesto since it is made with peas, and the Parmesan and garlic counter the sweetness and add the deeper savory tastes.

I recently took a knife skills class, which was very helpful and taught me some new tricks.  During the class, the instructor gave us tips for cutting small items, like cherry tomatoes.  You know those extra lids that you have from large yogurt containers or sour cream containers?  Keep two of them.  Sandwich the tomatoes between the two plastic lids, and you can slice through them with a serrated knife, all in one stroke.  You will want to keep the bottom lid rim side up and the top lid rim side down.  Press down on the top lid just enough to hold the tomatoes in place while you cut.  You'll have perfectly cut even tomatoes in no time!

I could not find a 10 oz. bag of frozen peas for which the original recipe called, so I used a 12 oz. bag and just added some extra Parmesan cheese.  If you can only find larger bags, I would up the Parmesan cheese ratio by a tablespoon or so, add an extra pinch or two of salt and pepper, and give an extra drizzle of olive oil.
Pea Pesto Crostini
Yields about 20 crostini (may differ depending on bread slice size)

1 10 or 12-oz. package frozen peas, defrosted
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sized baguette, sliced into 20 slices
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (for the bread)
10 cherry tomatoes

For the pea pesto, add the peas, garlic, Parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper into a food processor.  Turn the food processor on, and gradually add the olive oil until well combined, about a minute.  Add any additional salt and pepper, if desired, and pulse to blend.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF, and brush both sides of the bread with olive oil.  Place the bread on baking sheet, and bake for 12-15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature (about 5 minutes).

Then, spread 1 tablespoon of the pea pesto on each slice.  Top with tomato halves before serving.

Source: Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis


  1. What a festive delight to serve my guests over the holidays!

  2. Thanks for the tip about cutting cherry tomatoes! I always cut them individually and it takes FOREVER. And I love the beautiful green color of the pesto!


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