Creamy Pea Crostini with Pancetta
Beautiful green creamy pea puree spread on crisp crostini, sprinkled with bits of pancetta and flavored with mint, chives, and lemon, these pea crostini appetizers are unforgettable.
Aren’t these pea crostini the most beautiful color? I had a hard time coming up with a description that accurately describes this beautiful color. This bright, vibrant green certainly isn’t what pops into your head when you hear “pea green.” Maybe I need to go to the paint store and read some of the paint color names. I’m alway inspired by the names that paint manufacturers come up with. How about “electric lime,” “soft fern,” “envy,” or “shamrock?” I think “matcha green” is the closest match.
Anyways, these creamy pea crostini are a gorgeous green color and are almost too beautiful to eat. However, these appetizers taste as good as they look! You’ll love the subtle flavors of fresh mint, chives, and lemon zest. The salty bite of pancetta and parmesan are a perfect contrast to the naturally sweet, creamy pea spread.
Peas on bread? Sounds unlikely to you? Surprise! The fresh flavor of these creamy pea crostini will totally win you over.
And is this only a spring time recipe? Definitely not! Don’t we all need a bright pop of green on those gray winter days? I know I do!
About this Creamy Pea Crostini:
Creamy pea crostini are not at all difficult to make. Begin with toasted bread slices, called crostini. Check out how to make crostini.
To begin, you’ll fry eight ounces of pancetta and put it on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Shred an ounce or two of Parmesan.
To thaw the frozen peas, just place them in a colander in the sink and run warm water over them for a few minutes. To make the spread, combine the thawed peas, a little heavy cream, fresh mint, and chives in a mini food processor, and puree until nice and smooth. Stir in a little lemon zest and salt to taste.
Spread this mixture on the prepared crostini, top with a sprinkling of crumbled fried pancetta and parmesan, and serve immediately.
How to make this recipe your own:
- I like the fresh mint and chive combination. You could increase/decrease the amount of herbs or add a different herb. Tarragon would be good, as would parsley, or use basil for a more pesto type flavor. You could substitute scallions or green onions for the chives, but making this substitution will amp up the onion flavor a bit.
- I wouldn’t recommend using canned peas. They just don’t have the fresh color and taste that frozen peas have. Fresh shelled peas would be good, though.
- Switch up the garnish. Pea shoots/sprouts would be fantastic or even alfalfa sprouts, for a vegetarian pea crostini. Chopped chives or parsley would be a pretty garnish. Or use bacon bits instead of pancetta, or crumbled blue cheese, gorgonzola, or feta. A sprinkle of paprika would be good, too.
- Use the creamy pea spread as a dip for crackers or vegetables. Delicious!
Make Ahead Tips
To get a head start on preparing these creamy pea crostini, you could fry the pancetta, and store in an airtight container up to a couple days in the refrigerator, or a month in the freezer.
The toasted bread slices (crostini) can be prepared a couple of days in advance.
If you want, prepare the pea puree a day ahead and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Stir well before spreading it on the crostini.
Recommended tools for making pea puree:
Other great appetizer recipes:
Here’s a few more colorful vegetable appetizer recipes to enjoy:
- 1 loaf French baguette, made into crostini
- 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 6 large leaves fresh mint, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped chives
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 8 oz. diced pancetta
- 2-3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese, to garnish
- Heat medium sized frying pan over medium high heat. Fry pancetta until crispy, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes. Remove to paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Add peas, cream, mint, and chives to bowl of small food processor. Process until smooth.
- Scrape into small bowl and stir in lemon zest. Taste; add more salt and pepper, if needed.
- To assemble crostini, spread approximately 1 tablespoon pea puree on each crostini. Sprinkle on pancetta and shredded Parmesan. Serve immediately.
- Using canned peas is not recommended. They don't have the fresh color and taste that frozen peas have. Fresh shelled peas will work great, though.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 crostini
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 122Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 166mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g
Husband’s take: I’m going to be honest with you guys, the concept of green pea puree usually scares Ben away. He’s a pretty adventurous eater, but if there are other choices, he usually passes on this one.
Changes I would make: None are necessary!