I’m writing this on the first day of spring, but there are about six inches of snow outside my window. As I mentioned in my last post, I have a dire case of spring fever. My inspiration in the kitchen has been waning, sullenly stuck with winter stews while craving spring sautés. Today called for serious measures. Out came my daffodil-yellow striped shirt (totally inappropriate for these temperatures), and into the food processor went this pea and goat cheese spread for crostini. It tastes of spring, even if winter stubbornly refuses to budge.
Peas (either garden fresh, or, in this case, frozen and defrosted) get buzzed with garlic, goat cheese, Parmesan, herbs and lemon juice for a creamy, vibrant spread that’s amazing slathered on garlic-rubbed toast, tucked into ravioli or even tossed with pasta. It’s makes for a lovely appetizer (either on crostini or as a dip for veggies—think fennel spears, endives, radishes, baby carrots…), and it’s easy to whip together on a moment’s notice.
Close your eyes; take a bite; and forget all about the snow outside.
Pea & Goat Cheese Spread with Crostini
Serve these delicious crostini as a side dish, or as an appetizer with a few thinly sliced radishes or curls of Parmesan on top. The spread is also a lovely dip for veggies, and a delicious ravioli filling!
Makes: 1 ¼ cups
For the Crostini
- French bread, cut on the diagonal into ½ inch slices (you can make as few or as many as you’d like)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 garlic clove, halved
For the Pea & Goat Cheese Spread
- 1 ½ cups peas (defrosted if frozen, or blanched in salt water if fresh)
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 2 ounces goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as mint, basil, tarragon and/or thyme
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for serving
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the crostini, heat the oven or (a toaster oven also works well if you’re making a small batch) to 375˚. Brush each slice of bread on both sides with olive oil. Line the bread on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 6-8 minutes, or until lightly crisp on the bottom. Flip and cook an additional 6-8 minutes, or until toasted on the other side. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately rub each crostini with garlic. Do Ahead: The crostini can be made several hours in advance and left out at room temperature.
- In a food processor with the blade running, add the garlic and finely chop. Add the peas to the processor along with the goat cheese, herbs, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, water and a pinch of salt and pepper. Process to a slightly chunky puree, scraping down the sides occasionally. Add the extra virgin olive oil and process until just combined. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve the spread on crostini with a drizzle of good olive oil, or with vegetables for dipping. Do Ahead: The spread can be made up to 1 day in advance and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator.