20 July 2011

sweet pea crostini

{fresh shelling peas}

i love sitting and shelling peas.  i find it soothing and almost meditative, the repetition of it all.  it's pea season in the north and i couldn't be happier.  unlike snow peas (or mange-tout, as they're also known), shelling peas have a more fibrous pod that is too tough to eat, so like edamame, only the ripened inner peas are eaten.  to shuck them easily, press your thumb into the top seam until the shell pops open and then the peas can be pushed out of the pod with your thumb.  (alternatively, pop the peas right into your mouth!)  shelling peas are great enjoyed raw, but as it gets later in the season, sometimes they're not as sweet, so a light cooking will bring out more of their inner sweetness.

{peas, love & eternal grooviness}

peas are a good source of vitamins a, c, b6, k, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, potassium, lutein, antioxidants and fibre.  phew!  long story short, they're both yummy and good for you.  had i been told this as a kid, i don't think i would have liked them any more than i did then.  but, that being said, i was never handed a bunch of shelling peas still in their pods to snack on - that might have just won me over - because nothing beats sitting in the grass, shelling peas and getting to eat your hard work!

{yes peas}

this sweet pea spread is lovely as a dip, but it also makes for a pretty summer appetizer on bbq-grilled crostini.

{sweet pea crostini}

sweet pea crostini
1 cup or so of just-shelled peas
1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup raw cashews
1 clove garlic
1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (+ more for brushing)
1/2 tsp sea salt
whole wheat baguette
basil to garnish

place the peas and cashews in a blend or food processor along with the garlic, olive oil and the juice of half a lemon and process until you get a nice, smooth consistency.  season to taste with the sea salt and set aside.  slice your baguette and brush both sides of each slice lightly with olive oil.  grill over medium-high heat on your bbq - watch them closely!  spoon about a tablespoon of the pea mixture onto each slice, garnish with fresh basil and serve.

i've just submitted this post to this weeks wellness weekends round-up over at diet, dessert & dogs - you should go check it out, there are lots of delicious recipes (all free of refined sugars, by the way too) just waiting to be tried out.  i for one can't wait to try the baked granola haystack cookies!

{a pea-hater no more}

 is there a vegetable you hated as a child but have now grown to love?


  1. I love fresh shelled peas!! I haven't had crostini in a loooong time (since it normally includes cheese), this looks fantastic! I can't wait to try it- such a wonderful idea!

  2. Peas aren't my thing, but this...could be! Looks yum. As per usual.

  3. What a luscious looking spread! I must admit, I prefer to eat just-shelled peas than to be the one shelling them! But fresh peas are a revelation. Thanks so much for submitting this recipe to WW! :)

  4. Mmmmm!!! I'm making this for lunch right now - going to shell my own peas and all! :)