I know - peas. Gross, right? Peas are the vegetables that get shuffled unenthusiastically around the plate. They're the ones we hide behind the other food until dinner is over. They're not only physically difficult to pin down, squirming and rolling away from utensils, but I feel like peas are often a vegetable of obligation. I myself have a bag of them in my freezer that prompt a slight wave of guilt every time I catch a glimpse of them. I feel like I should have them, but I don't know why. Why do we hate peas, anyway? Is it the faded green color? The taste? The texture? The associations we have with being forced to eat them as children? Whatever the reason, peas have gotten a bad rap in our minds, rating up there with brussel sprouts in their ability to repel us.
So who knew they'd be so freaking delicious as a tapenade? The texture of this is so creamy that you'll think for a minute that some sort of fat or cream has been added. But - it hasn't. The peas run the show, settling into perfect smoothness when pureed. The flavor is delightful, but not overpowering, and it is wonderful spread over crispy garlic crostinis hot from the oven. You could even serve it as a dip for gluten-free crackers. The perfect appetizer, it's simple to make and will impress your guests with the unexpected harmony of peas and mint.
Pea Mint Tapenade
Makes enough for about 24 crostini, or about 2 cups
2 1/2 cups peas, cooked and drained
5 - 7 tbsp. chopped fresh mint (to taste)
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Adjust seasonings and mint to your own taste. Serve with gluten-free garlic crostinis or gluten-free crackers.
*Note: This does not keep very well, even overnight, so it is best to make it as close to serving time as possible for maximum freshness and flavor.