These simple Pea Bruschetta (pea crostini) make the most wonderful fresh easy appetizer.
The ciabatta toast is spread with delicious pea pesto then drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and garnished with a little cheese and some lemon zest.
For a boost to the fresh Spring flavors, you can add fresh pea shoots if they are available. Great for a date night appetizer or a light lunch.
Bruschetta and Crostini are such a classic appetizer or light lunch. Crisp toasts topped with something delicious. They aren't the most elegant thing to eat, but when they taste this good who cares 😉
Although I find that these pea bruschetta are a little easier than the traditional tomato bruschetta, as the peas are smashed together into a pesto style spread.
What is the difference between Bruschetta and Crostini?
Bruschetta are bigger than crostini. Traditionally bruschetta is made from slices of a rustic bread like ciabatta whereas crostini is made from a smaller thinner finer bread, similar to a french stick.
Both work here, the choice is yours. Although, if you are serving these as a quick nibble over some drinks with friends then you might want to go the pea crostini route. They are a little easier to eat. But for a light lunch then the more rustic pea bruschetta looks substantial on the plate.
How to make the pea bruschetta
These pea bruschetta start with an easy pea pesto, I added a handful of pea shoots to my pesto as they are packed full of pea flavor and also super nutritious!!! But if you can't find them, then leave them out and this will still be delicious!
As I am making bruschetta I opted for my favorite ciabatta bread and cut it into perfect slices. For me, the perfect slice for bruschetta is thick enough that it will hold up to the toppings but thin enough that you can bite through it easily - about the thickness of your little finger! (0.5" or 1.25cm) But please don't get a ruler out, I don't want to add stress to your kitchen. A little more or a little less isn't going to hurt, this is just lunch.
The bread gets drizzled with olive oil and then toasted under the broiler/grill until it is golden brown on both sides. This takes around 3 minutes on my grill, but grills are notoriously different so keep a watch on your bread.
Take a cut clove of garlic and rub it lightly onto the toasted bread. The rough texture will act as a mini grater, extracted a little garlic flavor onto the bread without overpowering anything.
For another great bruschetta idea why not try these:
- Strawberry and Feta Bruschetta
- Parsnip and Parmesan Bruschetta
- Blue Cheese Bruschetta with Cherry Salsa
- Mushroom Bruschetta
- Tomato and Mozzarella Bruschetta
What wine to drink with Pea Bruschetta
Fresh bright peas are a wonderful vegetable to pair with wine but the addition of the lemon to dishes often makes it harder to match a wine. Here though the lemon juice is mellowed by the parmesan, meaning we can opt for something young and dry without fear of mellowing out the acidity too much. I would choose a bright Sauvignon Blanc or if you can find it an Austrian Grüner Veltliner would be a welcome choice.
What could be better than lunch with the girls and a glass of chilled white wine? (Maybe lunch with Idris Elba but hey…the girls come close!)
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Pea Bruschetta Recipe (Pea Crostini)
For the pea topping
- 1 cup frozen peas – see note 1
- small handful of pea shoots - optional
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ½ clove garlic save the other half for the bruschetta
- salt and pepper to taste
For the bruschetta
- 6 slices ciabatta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ clove garlic
- Pea shoots
- Fresh Parmesan
- lemon zest
- black pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
To make the Pea Topping
- Place the ingredients in a food processor and use the pulse button to chop and combine them until you have a rough paste. Set aside until the toast is cooked.
To make the Bruschetta
- Pre-heat your broiler or grill.
- Drizzle the bread slices with the olive oil.
- Toast for 2-3 minutes a side until crisp and golden brown.
- Whilst the toast is still warm, use the half garlic clove to lightly rub the rough bread.
To assemble your Bruschetta
- Spread the pea topping over the 6 slices of toast.
- Add extra parmesan and lemon zest to each bruschetta then top with additional pea shoots.
- Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and garnish with black pepper.
- There is no need to cook the peas, you just need to defrost them. To defrost:
- Remove the peas from the freezer for 15 minutes before making the pesto.
- Blanch the frozen peas in boiling water for 60 seconds.