Oh Spring! It’s when the farmers’ markets start to get exciting: berries, peas, asparagus, artichokes… the bounty is plentiful and I so enjoyed going this past weekend. I was reminded of what a nice way it is to start my Sundays and how much fun it is to be inspired by seasonal offerings when creating a meal. I had signed up to bring an appetizer to dinner club, and was originally going to make stuffed mushrooms, but when I saw what was at the farmers’ market I knew right away that I would be changing my dish.
A while back I had a similar appetizer to this at The Tipsy Pig and was inspired to try it on my own. I’m pretty sure there was mint and some salad mixed in, which would be a nice twist to this dish as well, and I was further reminded this was a good combination of flavors, when Bon Appetit featured a recipe for Snap Pea Salad with Burrata from April Bloomfield in the May issue. I was pretty sure that I couldn’t go wrong making these Spring crostini with out using a specific recipe.
They were a HUGE success. Everyone at dinner club loved them (because let’s be honest, who doesn’t love something with burrata on it?!) and I loved them too. If you don’t know already, burrata is mozzarella with a cream and cheese mixture inside the ball. In this dish it is the perfect creamy texture and rich flavor against the crispness of the toasts and fresh veggies. Next time I would use a little more balsamic reduction and maybe rub a little raw garlic on the toasts when they come out of the oven, but for the most part, the simplicity and freshness of this dish is what makes it amazing.
- 2 smallish handfulls snap peas
- 1/2 bunch asparagus
- 4-6 scallions, thinly sliced or mandolined, white and light green parts
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped oregano (or mint, if that’s your thing)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 12 slices baguette, sliced on the diagonal
- 1 ball of burrata
Snap off the end of the peas, and slice diagonally into 3-4 slices. Cut through the outer shell and peas all in one. Snap of fibrous ends of the asparagus and blanch in boiling water for 1 minute unit bright green and barley tender. Slice into 1 inch pieces on the diagonal.
Mix peas, asparagus, thinly sliced scallions and oregano. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer balsamic vinegar in a shallow pot or pan, until it starts to thicken slightly. I just used a couple of tablespoons because it was all I had, and it only took a couple of minutes. I don’t imagine it would take that long for 1/4 cup, but keep an eye on it!
Place baguette slices on a baking sheet. Bake or broil until lightly toasted, approx 3-4 min on each side. The dinner club oven was set at 400 and I did 4 minutes on each side, so really you can just pop in with whatever you are already cooking for dinner- if you have garlic, you could cut a clove in half and rub the cut end on the warm toasts when they come out of the oven. This is common practice with most bruschettas and would have been a great added flavor here.
Cut the burrata into 12 wedges. Place one wedge on each crostini. I left the creamy side up so I could press the peas/asparagus on and they would stay. Top with pea/asparagus mixture. Drizzle with balsamic reduction, to taste. Season with more salt if needed.