For self-proclaimed quarter-life cooks Cara Eisenpress and Phoebe Lapine, authors of In the Small Kitchen know a thing or two about entertaining. Their newly released cookbook is filled with ideas that will leave you, as the host, prepared and relaxed enough to enjoy your own parties.
Their Sweet Pea Crostini is a prime example of the sort of low-stress, simple dish that Eisenpress and Lapine excel at. Simply sautéed sweet peas (fresh if you can find them, but frozen works too) and diced onion are simmered with white wine, seasoned with a bit of spicy red chili flakes, then buzzed in the blender. It's a fresh, springy spread that you can dollop atop oven-crisped rounds of baguette with shaved Parmesan and mint or basil leaves.
No more involved than mixing up a batch of hummus, the Sweet Pea Crostini are elegant, delicately flavored, and come together in just under 15 minutes.
As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of In the Small Kitchen to give away this week.
Reprinted with permission from In the Small Kitchen by Cara Eisenpress and Phoebe Lapine. Copyright © 2011. Published by William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Two 20-ounce bags frozen peas
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 11/2 teaspoons salt, or more if needed
- 1 baguette, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and lightly toasted
- 1/2 cup fresh basil or mint leaves
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter or heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and red pepper flakes, and sauté until the onions are translucent but not yet brown, 5 to 10 minutes.
Add the peas and white wine, and raise the heat to medium-high. Bring the liquid to a boil, stirring the peas around so all of them defrost, 5 to 7 minutes.
When the mixture is heated through, transfer it all to a blender or food processor and add the salt. Blend until the peas are about the consistency of hummus, adding water if the puree is too thick to process. Taste for salt and correct to your preference.
Scoop 1 tablespoon of the pea mixture onto each toasted baguette round, and garnish with the chopped basil and grated Parmesan.