I heard that tomorrow is officially the first day of spring! That means we're on the cusp of verdant spring veggies to brighten up our post-winter kitchen cookery. Thinking ahead to some Easter hors d'oeuvres, these little toasts are spread with a vibrant, garlicky pea puree, then garnished with the salty edge of crispy prosciutto. Gently pulse the freshly shelled cooked peas, or use frozen in a pinch, with Parmigiano Reggiano and high quality olive oil until you have a rustic texture for this pesto-style topping. Serves 4
10 slices prosciutto
2 cups fresh peas
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/2 cup olive oil, plus additional for toasting bread
10 chive sprigs, finely chopped, or herb of your choice
1 lemon, zested and juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 baguette, cut into 22-24 slices, about 1 inch thick
Set the oven at 375 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet lined with a wire rack, lay the prosciutto slices in a single layer. Bake for 8 minutes until the slices are a dark brown and have a crispy texture. Remove from the oven; cool. Keep the oven on.
Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the peas, and cook for 4 minutes. Strain the cooked peas into a colander, and rinse with cold tap water until they are no longer hot. Dry the peas on a towel.
In a blender or with an immersion blender, combine the peas, garlic, Parmesan, olive oil, chives, lemon zest and juice, salt, and pepper. Pulse the mixture a few times until it forms a coarse puree. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.
Toast the baguette slices in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil until lightly golden in color on both sides, for about 4-6 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly until easy to handle.
Spoon the pea mixture on each slice. Break the prosciutto into pieces and garnish each slice with a few pieces, then serve.