Pea & Parmesan Crostini on simplebites.net

My favourite appetizer for easy warm-weather entertaining (Sweet Pea and Parmesan Tartines)

Part of my warm-weather entertaining manifesto is to keep my gatherings as simple as possible. This encompasses everything from table décor to beverages, and most importantly, food. We host several dinners and social soirées in the spring and summer months, and I’m always on the look out for easy-to-execute lip-smacking appetizers that deliver impressive tastes to my guests. Luckily, these tartines fit the bill perfectly.

While the name sounds highly impressive, tartines (or crostinis) are really nothing more than slices of toasted/grilled bread topped with a little something. It can be as simple as store-bought jam and a slice of aged cheddar, assorted spreads, cured meats, or fresh produce that’s paired with fragrant herbs and oils.

I typically opt for the latter, and they are almost always the highlight of the meal. Lightly buttered bread is usually grilled, rubbed with garlic and then covered with a variety of toppings. For spring, I’m smitten with the combination of sweet peas, Parmesan and mint, but you can use pretty much anything that’s in season.

Pea Crostini

Some of the other flavor combinations that I’m partial to include:

  • Chopped ripe avocado dressed up with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, sea salt, olive oil, and red pepper flakes.
  • Sweet tomatoes tossed with olive oil, fresh basil and baby bocconcini cheese.
  • A smear of goat cheese blanketed with roasted mushrooms and fresh chopped tarragon.
  • Soft unsalted butter topped with crisp radish slices, sea salt, and a sprinkling of chives.
  • Slow roasted cherry tomatoes, with fresh ricotta.

There is no real recipe for the ideas I’ve listed above; just use what you have on hand and adjust the seasonings to taste.

I’m a collector of back-pocket recipe ideas, the ones I can turn to time again for inspiration and success, and this one is currently sitting within easy reach. I wouldn’t hesitate to make a platter of these just for dinner, date-night, or even an easy lunch, in addition to serving them with a glass of sangria for my favorite visitors in the coming months.

Pea Crostini 2

Sweet Pea, Parmesan and Mint Tartines
5.0 from 1 reviews
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Recipe type: Appetizer
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 16-20 pieces
If you aren’t partial to mint, feel free to replace it with fresh basil, dill, or lemon zest. To make the recipe vegan, omit the Parmesan and adjust the seasonings to taste.
Ingredients
  • 1 baguette, cut into 1/4” slices
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 2 ½ cups fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup olive oil + extra for brushing the bread
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2-3 mint leaves, torn
Instructions
  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Brush both sides of your bread slices with the olive oil and cook until golden brown, 1-2 minutes per side. Transfer the bread to a cutting board and rub each piece with the cut sides of the garlic.
  2. Blanch peas in a pot of boiling salted water, just until tender, approximately 1 minute for frozen peas and 2 minutes for fresh. Drain well.
  3. Transfer the peas to the bowl of a food processor and add the olive oil, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and mint leaves. Pulse until the purée reaches the desired consistency. For a chunkier spread it will only need five or six turns in the processor, for a smoother one 10-12 pulses should be enough.
  4. Spread 2-3 tablespoons of the pea purée over each toast. Garnish with additional Parmesan, torn mint leaves, and sea salt, if desired.

 

What are your go-to appetizers for warm-weather entertaining??

About Jan

Jan Scott is a Canadian food writer, party planner, and mom of two active tween boys. She is the home cook and creative behind Family Bites, a blog inspired by the simple recipes and party ideas she’s put to the test on her family. Prior to making the transition to freelance writer, Jan spent five years as a party planner for a private catering company, but shifted to working from home in order to spend more time with her growing family.

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Comments

  1. Look so good and easy. I love easy!
    Tieghan’s last post: Greek Steak and Pesto Salad Gyros

  2. What a pretty appetizer! Love the fresh pea and mint combo!

  3. You know I love these! Yay for peas:) Love the bright green color too!
    Maria’s last post: Balsamic Strawberry Ricotta Shortcakes

  4. Jan,

    The fresh color of these snacks is so pretty. I’m envisioning a fall tartine with a base of roasted winter squash, or a summer one with a base of grilled summer squash . . . what a great idea to keep in my back pocket.

    Thank you!
    Kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts’s last post: Chicken Salad By The Ounce

  5. simple and delicious-this could be appetizer and dinner tonight. :)
    naomi’s last post: Cowboy Caviar Couscous Salad

  6. Just this weekend I challenged myself to entertain more often. Every time I do, I love it and remember what a joy it is to feed friends and family, but I just don’t do it enough. So, this recipe is timely – adding it to my entertaining menu, which I’m going to be putting to use a lot this summer. The mint sounds delightful!!
    Allison’s last post: Homemade Taco Bowls: Turmeric Chicken & Avocado Salsa

    • What a great challenge! I love having people over to eat, as well, and I think you’ll find any kind of tartine or crostini makes an excellent appetizer, even for the kids.

  7. Such a fabulous, simple, recipe! Love!

  8. These are the best- simple, beautiful and i am sure delicious!
    Heather Christo’s last post: GIVEAWAY WINNERS!!!!

  9. La Torontoise says:

    Thank you! This is such a simple, yet spectacular appatizer! Can hardly wait to make it. I’m in Naples right now and the default appetizer is mozzarela, cherry tomatoes and basil leaves (plus olive oild of course); simple and delicisous as well…

    All the best!

  10. Beautiful, Jan! I love the ingredients and the colour for spring. I’m totally doing these for a potluck.
    Amy
    Amy @ Family Feedbag’s last post: Strawberry rhubarb crumble (not rhubarb strawberry)

  11. That is definitely a nice way to enjoy spring!
    Kevin @ Closet Cooking’s last post: Trout Amandine

  12. This is definitely my kind of appetizer! Yum!
    Jenny Flake’s last post: Mother’s Day Brunch Recipe Ideas

  13. This is such a pretty appetizer! A must try ~ love the bright green color :)

  14. I usually let the kids munch on raw veggies, or sometimes chips. These are a much more elegant yet simple option. We’re keen on avocados too. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas.
    Julia’s last post: Basic Flour Tortillas: A Step-by-Step Recipe

  15. I love these simple, pretty appetizers for a spring party! They look delicious!

  16. Amen! I feel like not only should warm weather entertaining be simple, but so should regular family dinners. I’m turning to my crockpot and my grill a LOT these days to avoid standing over the stove or heating up the kitchen by using the oven. :)
    Claire @ Lemon Jelly Cake’s last post: A Mother’s Day Giveaway

  17. Jan, what a perfect idea… Looks so yummy and I’m with you on the easy recipes for those friend and family gatherings!
    Marian (Sweetopia)’s last post: 1st Birthday Owl Cookies

  18. I made something like this once for a party, and it went over very well. And that green colour is so gorgeous, people can’t help but be drawn to it! Love the idea of tartines in general.
    Musing Mar’s last post: Spring Tonic ✳ Rhubarb Syrup & Two Cocktails

  19. Oh wow, these look delightful :) I am loving this recipe!

  20. Do you happen to have any real good gluten free recipes? I have Celiac and can’t eat gluten or wheat thanks:)

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