Start your next cookout or picnic right, with one of my favorite go-to summer appetizers. A bright, fresh and summery spread, this Pea Pesto Crostini is not only delicious, but it’s also easy peasy to make! Offering a bright pop of color and requiring little to no prep time, these little toasts are ideal for special summer gatherings or casual afternoon snacking. I always find serving cold appetizers is easier when entertaining, plus when it’s so hot outside they can be refreshing. This crostini takes full advantage of the sweet, fresh flavor of peas and it is so delicious.

Simply pulse together the peas, garlic, Parmesan, salt and pepper in a food processor until blended. Slowly add the olive oil until the mixture is well combined, and ta da! You have pea pesto!  Spread on a slice of crusty toast, and top with itty bitty tomatoes. Like I said earlier, there’s little to no prep time here! Light, refreshing and colorful, it’s a summer appetizer that I want to eat all year long.

 

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Ingredients:
Pesto:
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
Crostini:
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

 

Directions: 

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis