Pea Pesto &Grilled Tomato Crostini

In my quest(literally) to make new dishes, I stumbled upon the idea to pick one world cuisine and explore as many dishes in it as I can! So I started with ITALIAN…Their food is subtly flavoured, uses a lot of fresh herbs & I believe quite healthy as most of the dishes use lots of vegetables! When making Italian for daily consumption I believe we can restrict and at times omit the use of cheese.(an Italian favourite) But, its the healthy olive oil and the robust flavours that I personally like about Italian.
So here is one of the dishes I prepared on my first day of Italian cooking. It was an Italian themed lunch party, but I was very careful not to make any pasta or pizza. So I decided to make crostini! A simple entree that is sure to be a hit! I narrowed down my choice of toppings to a classic pea pesto and grilled tomato, which i served with a homemade cheesy dip! There are lots of variations as to what goes on your crostini, but I like this pesto & tomato flavour! What toppings do you prefer on your crostini?


For the pesto
Peas 1 cup
Parmesan cheese. 1/3 cup
Garlic 1 medium clove
Extra virgin Olive Oil. 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Paprika 1/2 tsp
Black pepper 1/2 tsp
Dried mint leaves 1/2 tsp

For the grilled tomato
Ripe tomatoes 2-3 sliced
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling about 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Black pepper 1/2 tsp
Dries Basil 1/2 tsp

1 loaf Ciabatta or a baguette
2-3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic

How to make it
Pea pesto
Blend all the ingredients for the pesto apart from the oil in a blender, till it becomes fine and creamy. Finally add the oil and give one final blitz! Empty into an air tight jar. It keeps in the refrigerator for up-to 1 week!

Grilled tomato
Lay out the tomatoes on some paper towels and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle the salt, pepper and basil. Keep for 5 minutes and then grill on a hot grill pan or the grill for 2-3 minutes each side. Keep aside on a platter to cool.

To assemble
Slice 1cm thick slices from your bread loaf. Drizzle some olive oil and toast the slices in a toaster till golden brown. Rub with some garlic.
Spoon 1tsp pesto on each slice and spread. Arrange 2 slice of tomato on each slice. Serve as it is or with a cheesy dip!

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