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Snap Pea and Mint Pesto Crostini

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Snap Pea and Mint Pesto Crostini

Snap Pea and Mint Pesto Crostini is a fresh and summery appetizer or snack. 

Happy Memorial Day weekend! If you are thinking what I am thinking, you need a summery snack that is fresh and cool – something other than a big bowl of fruit (although that is in order, too).

Snap Pea and Mint Pesto Crostini tastes like summer. It is everything I want: toasty seasoned baguette, creamy ricotta, minty pesto, crunchy-tender spring peas, and a bright pop of lemon. There is a whole lot going on in all of those layers, which makes every bite of a Snap Pea and Mint Pesto Crostini satisfying.

A minute on the Mint Pesto: This was a revelation. Like a basil pesto, but a little less rich, and so much fresher-tasting. Minty, but not overly so. Mint Pesto would be a terrific dip for bread or pita, it would be delicious tossed with pasta (how about cold, like an updated version of pasta salad?), and perfectly fitting on top of chicken, fish, or pork. Mint Pesto is going into my rotation for the summer.

Back to the Snap Pea and Mint Pesto Crostini: This is the answer to your long-weekend “what to make” dilemma. You’re welcome.

Snap Pea and Mint Pesto Crostini

For the Mint Pesto:
2 cups packed fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
¼ cup toasted walnuts
1 small clove garlic
1 T parmesan
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ cup olive oil

For the snap peas:
½ tablespoon butter
2 cups sugar snap peas, chopped on the diagonal into ½-inch pieces
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

For the toasts:
12 ¼-inch slices baguette, cut at a diagonal 
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 clove garlic, sliced in half lengthwise

To serve:
1 ½ cups ricotta 
Finely grated zest from 1 lemon
Flaky salt (such as Maldon or coarse sea salt)

Make the Mint Pesto. In a food processor, pulse together the mint, walnuts, garlic, parmesan, salt, and pepper just until it is minced. Scrape down the bowl of the processor, then slowly, with the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Set aside.

Sauté the snap peas. In a small pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Sauté the peas, seasoned with salt and pepper, for about 5 minutes, until they are warm and crisp-tender. Set aside.

Toast the baguette slices. Preheat the broiler. Brush the bread slices with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil for about 3 minutes, until the bread begins to look toasty and golden (be sure to watch – they can burn quickly!). Remove from the oven, and rub the warm bread with the cut sides of the garlic clove.

When the toasts have cooled, spread them with the ricotta. Drizzle some Mint Pesto over each slice, then spoon the peas over. Finish with the lemon zest and a little sprinkle of flaky salt.

You will have some Mint Pesto left over. Cover it and refrigerate, and use it later on veggies, pasta, chicken, pork, or as a dipping sauce for bread.

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