Epic Spring Salad with Asparagus, Chicken and Garlic Scapes
When in doubt this spring, pile all the veggies into a huge salad like this one.
When thinking about making this crostini I had spring veggies on the brain. Specifically radishes. I am not sure why, but all of the sudden I am trying to work them into meals all the time. So I developed this recipe around the idea of eating a lot of them. But it wasn’t until I was actually slicing them that it dawned on me that I could use their greens, too. So I turned them into a pesto. It was a moment of brilliance, if I do say so myself.
I am so proud of this recipe! They were such a delicious spring appetizer. Dave and I devoured them while our mulligatawny soup was simmering away (which is a delicious story for another day. Don’t worry. It’s coming.)
Here’s what you need to make 12 crostini pieces:
About 1 1/4 cup of cooked peas (I used thawed frozen peas)
12 Baguette slices
8-10 radishes, sliced very thinly
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper
Radish green pesto (see below)
For the pesto:
Radish greens from about 1 lb. radishes (1 cup ish – don’t worry if it’s not exact)
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
Heavy pinch of salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Start by smashing the peas into a chunky paste, either using a bowl and the back of a spoon or a mortar and pestle. Salt just a bit, and spread a thin layer onto baguette slices.
Next, make the pesto by putting all the pesto ingredients in your food processor. Since there’s a lot of non-liquid items, you will probably need to scrape the sides down a few times before it becomes a paste. You may also need to add more oil or lemon juice to get the taste or consistency you like – that is OK. Just add it in small increments.
Spread a thick layer of the pesto on top of your smashed pea layer. Top with half to 3/4 of a radish’s worth of slices. Salt and pepper, and drizzle with just a tiny bit of oil.