Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Garden Peas and their many uses!!!

The  garden pea can have many uses in your kitchen....from pesto to soup or try a pasta with this garden delite!!! 
Sweet Pea Crostini





Ingredients
Sweet Peas:
2 cups chicken broth or water
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen peas,  or fresh
1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 ounces finely diced prosciutto

Crostini:
1 baguette, sliced into 1/2-inch thick slices
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
3 to 4 cloves garlic
Directions:

For the Sweet Peas: Warm the chicken broth and red pepper flakes in a medium

saucepan over medium-high heat until the broth boils. Add the frozen peas and cook until the peas are tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the peas in a mesh sieve.

Place the peas in a food processor with the mint, salt, and pepper. Puree the pea mixture. Place the pea puree in a medium bowl and refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the crostini: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the baguette slices on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake in the oven until toasted and golden around the edges, about 10 minutes. While the crostini are still warm, drizzle the tops with extra-virgin olive oil. Using a whole clove of garlic in your fingertips, rub the top of the crostini a few times to give a hint of garlic.

To finish, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the pea puree. Top each of the crostini with about 1 tablespoon of pea puree. Sprinkle with a bit of the diced prosciutto. Serve immediately.

 

Garden Pea Pesto (without nuts)

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:
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.

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.

Top with tomato halves and serve




Linguine with Pea Pesto

1 1/2 cups (from approximately 1 1/2 pounds peas in pods) fresh pea or a 10-ounce package frozen peas, defrosted
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted and cooled
1/2 cup (1 1/8 ounces) finely grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon table salt, plus more for pasta water
1/3 cup olive oil
12 ounces dried linguine
Garnish (optional): thinly slivered basil or mint leaves
If you’re completely maniacal about your peas getting overcooked (I am!), prepare an ice bath, a large bowl filled with ice water. Bring a small saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add peas and cook for 2 minutes (this leaves them with a bit of structure). Drain peas then add them to the ice bath (if using) and drain again. If you haven’t used an ice bath, let your peas cool to lukewarm before making the pesto.
Set aside 1/2 cup of your cooked peas. Whirl the remaining cup of peas in the work bowl of a food processor with garlic, pine nuts, 1/3 cup parmesan and salt until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary. With the machine running, drizzle in olive oil. You can stop right here, toast some baguette slices and make some fine, fine crostini. Or, you can continue…
Cook your linguine until al dente. Reserve about two cups pasta cooking water (yes, this is a lot, the pea pesto will be surprisingly thick) then drain linguine and return it to pot. Over moderate heat, toss pasta with pesto, reserved peas and as much reserved pasta water as needed to smooth and distribute pesto; let cook for one minute so that the pesto adheres. Adjust salt to taste, add freshly ground black pepper if desired. Serve immediately, garnished with fresh herbs, if using, and remaining parmesan for passing.



Pea and Pesto Soup

Ingredients:

3 cups water
3 cups frozen peas 0r fresh
2 scallions
1 teaspoon Maldon salt or kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) fresh pesto (not jarred)
Directions:

The quickest way to proceed is to fill a kettle first and put it on to boil. When it's boiled, measure the amount you need into a pan and put on the stove to come back to a boil.

Add the frozen peas, scallions, salt and lime juice and let everything bubble together for 7 minutes.

Discard the scallions and blitz the peas and their liquid with the pesto in a blender.*

Pour into a thermos flask that you've left filled with hot water and then emptied and make sure you screw the top on securely.

*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.





Sweet Pea Salad and Ricotta Cheese Crostini

Ingredients:
2 cups fresh sweet peas
1/4 cup minced shallot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
1 teaspoon lemon, zested
1 lemon, juiced
Olive oil, for brushing
1 loaf focaccia bread, cut into 1 1/2-inch thin squares
1 cup ricotta cheese
Directions:

Preheat grill to medium.

In a large bowl, add peas, shallots, garlic, salt, pepper, basil, mint, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir to combine and set aside.

Brush focaccia squares with remaining oil. Grill on each side for 2 to 3 minutes until well marked. Remove from the grill to a serving platter. Spread ricotta cheese on each square and top with sweet pea salad.
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