I have so many spring recipe ideas whirring through my head, but I’m really glad this one actually came to fruition.
Peas and prosciutto make a wonderful pair in just about any context. In this appetizer, the creamy, pea-ricotta spread is just the right contrast to the crisp, salty prosciutto. When you crisp up prosciutto in the oven, it essentially is like bacon. And there’s never anything wrong with bacon.
To brighten up the filling, I used a good amount of lemon zest and juice. Oh and can’t forget the mint. Another likely pair those sweet, spring peas.
You don’t have to serve these crostini as just an appetizer either. To be honest with you, I’ve been considering making some kind of fried egg sandwich with the leftover pea-ricotta spread and prosciutto I have. Actually. I think I’m going to do that right now. I’m hungry.
- French baguette bread (about 8oz), sliced into 16- ½ inch slices
- 3 slices (about 1 ½ oz) prosciutto
- 1T extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 10oz (about 2C) shelled peas, fresh or frozen*
- 2T mint leaves, roughly chopped
- ½ C ricotta cheese
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1T lemon juice
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a sheet tray with a silicon matt or parchment paper. Place prosciutto on pan and drizzle lightly with oil. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 12-14 minutes, rotating half way through, or until the fat renders and the prosciutto begins to crisp. It will continue to crisp up as it cools. Set aside. Break into pieces, when ready to serve.
- Warm a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add oil to the pan, followed by the peas. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté until just warmed through. Transfer peas to a food processor along with the mint, and process to combine. Add ricotta, lemon zest and juice, and blend until incorporated. It's okay if the mixture is slightly chunky. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Transfer mixture to the fridge to chill. Place in a piping bag, if desired.
- Preheat the broiler. Place sliced bread on a baking sheet several inches away from the broiler. Broil approximately 40-60 seconds per side, checking every 20 seconds or so, or until golden brown.
- To assemble, pipe or spread approximately 1 ½ tablespoons of the pea mixture on each slice of toast, drizzle lightly with oil and top with a piece of prosciutto. Enjoy.
- If using fresh peas, blanch and shock first. Frozen peas can be placed in the pan even if they are not completely defrosted.