Happy St. Patrick’s Day! If you’re in Austin, please take a moment to step outside and bask in the glory that is the early Texas springtime. Take a drive to see the wildflowers! Bike to Central Market just to buy a blood orange (like I did on Sunday–more on that in an upcoming post)! And most of all, enjoy the mild, breeze-punctuated sunshine before it turns into an oppressive, unwavering heat that only Barton Springs can relieve.
After you do that, make jalapeño and pea pesto crostini. It tastes like springtime, with a spicy Texas twist (because Texas springtimes are the best springtimes, y’all). Use your leftover pesto as a sauce for pasta, to toss with a salad… or just eat it off of a spoon. No judgment here.
Jalapeño and Pea Pesto Crostini, adapted from The Food Network
1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas, defrosted
3 garlic cloves
1 jalapeño pepper (remove seeds and membrane if you want it to be less spicy)
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 (I used half of this and it was just as delicious)
8 (1/2-inch thick) slices whole-grain baguette or ciabatta bread, preferably day-old
8 cherry tomatoes, halved or 1 small tomato, sliced
For the pea pesto: Pulse together the peas, garlic, jalapeño, 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.