Sweet English Pea Pesto Crostini

by Pamela

english peas, pea pesto, pea crostini, sugar snap peas

More farmer’s market goodness found its way into my kitchen this week, in the form of English peas.  For the record, the difference between English peas and sugar snap peas is one you can eat the peas and their pods, and the other has pods that don’t taste so good so you shell them (aka shelling peas).  English peas are the shelling peas variety.  Their pods aren’t so tasty.

Having grown up shelling peas, I took this opportunity to buy a pound of these beauties already shelled.  Since my parents had a large garden (and still do), I spent a lot of time prepping vegetables for canning and freezing with my mother.  Since I’ve already put in the time doing these chores, I find absolutely zero novelty (that some food bloggers find) in performing these tasks – so I don’t do them.

I had already decided that these little peas were destined to become a pea pesto, though not for gracing a steaming bowl of pasta (at least not initially) but to be slathered on some goat cheese and bread to make a beautiful pea crostini.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, pesto can be made from virtually any mixture of ingredients.  Pea pesto is a light and refreshing change from the slightly heavier flavored basil pesto you were probably eating all winter long.  The Spring green color of this pesto is almost as refreshing as the flavor it has.


This recipe makes quite a lot of pesto, which I think is a good thing.  That allowed me to have enough to slather on an entire baguette, make a large pot of pasta that got covered with a generous amount of the this pea pesto and still have plenty left over for me to just eat by the spoonful, right out of the container (soooo good).

Speaking of peas….

I was poking around the interwebs, as I’m prone to do, and ended up in this dark alley that had a bunch of people laughing hysterically.  Being the curious person I am, I had to stop by and see what was going on (plus, I do love me a dark alley from time to time).  What I found there, had to be shared.  It seems that the esteemed butter maven herself, Paula Deen, posted an “amazing” pea recipe on the Food Network site (it’s no pea crostini…but then again….).  I kid you not, here’s the recipe:


  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 2 cans (14 1/2-ounces) English peas, drained


Melt the butter in small pot and add the peas. Cook over medium heat until peas are warm.

You can tell it’s a Paula recipe, given that she uses half of a stick of butter for 2 cans of peas.  But if the recipe wasn’t funny enough, the comments are even better.  Here’s just a sample of some of those.

Paula-Deen-English-Peas-CommentsAt least I can admit when something isn’t really a recipe, but a list of ingredients (see Sabzi Khordan).  But then again, I don’t have an ego the size of a butter churn.

Relationship Advice

“To be a strong woman, to be a fierce woman, to be a true woman, to be a leader, to be truly powerful, you have to get to place where you can tolerate people not liking you. And know that when you actually do that, you have to fall back on your own moral imperative in your own moral trunk and say, ‘I don’t care, this is what I believe. This is who I am.” -Eve Ensler

As women, we are born and bred to care about what others think of us, almost to the point of obsession for some.  We care about whether or not our girlfriends are talking about us (good or bad), if those guys are talking about us, or even if those strangers across the way from us are talking about us.

Why do we give a shit what total strangers are thinking about us?  Unless of course, they want to bestow upon us a multitude of riches, the likes of which children’s fairytales are made of.

Guess what?  There are people out there that don’t like you.  Get over it.  There is no amount of baking, kissing, sexing, talking nice about or sucking up to those people that is ever going to make them like you.  So why torture yourself over trying to change their minds.  But just because someone doesn’t like you, doesn’t mean they then won’t respect you.  Stand for something, have a voice and stand by it.  Whether or not they like you, if you stand for something people tend to respect that…and you.

Eliminate the things that don’t matter to you, they only keep you from getting to the stuff you really want. Your time here is limited, do you really want to waste it on things that only matter to other people and not yourself?

Concerning yourself with what you stand for and not worrying about what others think of you will also allow you to meet those people who are more like yourself.  People who can support you in the things that you believe in and cherish.  Not only does this apply to co-workers and friends, but potential significant others that respect and compliment you.


Recipe: Pea Pesto Crostini


  • 3/4 – 1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 Cloves Garlic (peeled)
  • 1 Pound Shelled English Peas (blanched)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Packed Baby Arugula
  • 1/2 Lemon, Juiced
  • 2 Cloves Roasted Garlic (from oil roasted cloves-directions follow)
  • 1/3 Cup Garlic Olive Oil (from oil roasted cloves-directions follow)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • Kosher Salt (to taste)
  • 1 Baguette
  • Remaining Garlic Olive Oil (from oil roasted cloves directions follow)
  • Goat Chese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  2. In the bowl of a food process, or blender, add the peas, arugula, lemon juice, garlic cloves, pepper and a pinch of salt.
  3. Begin to purée the mixture and slowly drizzle in the olive oil. This recipe does not use as much olive oil as your traditional pesto.
  4. Slice the baguette to 1/2″ slices.
  5. Lightly brush each bread slice with the garlic olive oil and lay out onto a baking sheet.
  6. Bake bread for 8-10 minutes. Edges will be slightly golden brown and bread will get toasted.
  7. Remove bread from oven.
  8. Smear on a light coating of goat cheese onto each slice of bread.
  9. Slather the pea pesto on top of the goat cheese.
  10. Serve

Quick notes

To blanch peas – Bring a large saucepan, filled with water, to a boil.

Add peas and cook for 3 minutes.

Remove from heat, strain peas, and plunge into a large bowl of ice water (this stops the cooking process).

Once cool strain again.

To make garlic olive oil and oil roasted garlic. In a small saucepan, add in the garlic cloves. Cover the cloves with 3/4-1 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Bring heat to medium and cook garlic for 5-10 minutes until they become soft and slightly browned. Remove from heat. You will have olive oil and garlic left over to use on other things.

Preparation time:  15 Minutes

Cooking time:  10 Minutes

Number of servings (yield): 8

Meal type: hors d’oerves

Culinary tradition: USA (General)


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Lentil Breakdown May 27, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Wow, this has been on my to-make list for awhile. Someone gave me the recipe of Giada’s pea pesto and said it was great. Sounds very similar to yours. I really like your advice on this post. Very inspirational! (ok, there was no T&A, but you can’t have everything).

Priscilla - She's Cookin' May 17, 2011 at 8:08 am

Our childhoods sound very similar, so why is it that, after years of swearing off gardening, that I find myself married to a “suit” that now wants to grow most of his own food? How did he morph into my dad in the past 10 years? Anyway, I still refuse to grow peas that have to be shelled or to pit cherries. Love that vibrant pesto 🙂

Liren May 12, 2011 at 8:39 am

Totally making this! It’s just perfect for entertaining! (And thanks for the chuckle – I couldn’t help it when I saw the Paula Deen recipe!)

marla {family fresh cooking} May 12, 2011 at 5:31 am

Recently I have started seeing peas made into pesto – certainly something I must try as I love both peas and pesto 🙂 Pretty color too!

Angie@Angiesrecipes May 11, 2011 at 9:00 pm

I love pesto, but never thought of using peas in them. Great idea.

laura May 11, 2011 at 8:01 pm

LOVE this write up – hilarious screen shot of the comments from the Paula recipe. I also LOVE that this is a pea pesto that does not rely on butter and/or cheese. cheers to you!

Kim May 11, 2011 at 3:41 pm

OMG. Those FN comments are HYSTERICAL. Recipe worth checking out for the comments alone.

I love me some good peas. Had dinner in Santa Monica recently – still drooling over a burrata appetizer that was drizzled in pea pesto. Very spring. 🙂


foodwanderings May 9, 2011 at 7:54 pm

Pammy, I would never think of making a pesto. The fresh shelled peas looks so beautiful. You cracked me up when you said ‘ I find absolutely zero novelty (that some food bloggers find) in performing these tasks ‘ 🙂

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