Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Study in Green – Arugula and Endamame Crostini

I think it was subconscious when my sister arranged these verdant appetizer toasts on a minty green platter. She tends to go monochromatic. (I tend towards alliteration. Similarities?)

But what a feast for the eyes! And an even better treat for the taste buds. It was a pesto, all right, but the peppery tang of the arugula blended with the creaminess of the endamame, all binded by freshly-grated Parmgiano-Reggiano made it unique and irresistible. The touch of fresh mint added one more layer of flavor . . . and one more shade of green.

If I hadn’t seen  . . . and smelled . . . the pork tenderloin being readied for the main course, I could have easily made of meal of these crostini. They were that good.

The notion that they looked like a school of fish swimming in a green pool just added to my amused enjoyment.

The original recipe calls for fava beans. But they aren’t too easy to find. If I ever do, I’m going to scarf them up as faster than you can say Jack Robinson. Fortunately, the recipe creator, in a 2009 issue of Gourmet, suggests endamame as a great substitute. But they don’t have those too often at the general store down the road, so I’ll be putting that on my next “go to town” shopping list. Just like Mrs. Ingalls.

These crostini were just one of the appetizers we had when my sister hosted the family for our indoor (wishing we had the rain now that threatened that day!) alfresco dinner party, the one that the semifreddo topped off. The main course, that terrific tenderloin, is next. Obviously, I’m not doing a whole lot of cooking during this heat wave.

Off to do the rain dance!

Arugula and Fava-Bean Crostini
Gourmet, May 2009
by Kay Chun
Makes 8 servings (not if I'm around)

  • 1 cup shelled fresh fava beans (1 1/4 pounds in pods) or shelled fresh or frozen edamame (soybeans; 3/4 pounds in pods)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus additional for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 cups packed baby arugula (1 1/2 ounces), divided
  • 3 tablespoons grated Pecorino Toscano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 baguette
  • 1 garlic clove, halved crosswise
  • 16 mint leaves

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Cook fava beans in boiling water, uncovered, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes, then drain and transfer to an ice bath to stop cooking. Gently peel off skins (if using edamame, don't peel).

Pulse fava beans in a food processor until very coarsely chopped, then transfer half of mixture to a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup oil, 1/2 cup arugula, cheese, lemon zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to favas in processor and purée until smooth. Add to bowl. Coarsely chop remaining cup arugula and gently fold into fava-bean mixture.

Cut 16 diagonal slices (1/3 inch thick) from baguette and put in a 4-sided sheet pan. Drizzle with remaining tablespoon oil. Bake until pale golden and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Rub with cut side of garlic.

Spoon fava-bean mixture onto baguette toasts, then drizzle with oil and top with mint.

Cooks' notes:
•Topping, without chopped arugula, can be made 8 hours ahead and chilled. Fold in arugula before using.
•Toasts can be made 1 day ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

The cheese platter was pretty tasty, too.  I went for the Dubliner first, then the brie, then back to the crostini.


  1. They DO look like a school of fish....and irresistably delicious too!

  2. Ha! I can totally get into color themed food. And green is my favorite so this is an awesome dish as far as I'm concerned :) Sounds AND looks delicious!

  3. That sounds so healthy and delicious. So yummy!

  4. I just adore arugula...I discovered my love for the green only a few months ago. This looks so delicious! Thanks for making me smile tonight (you always do), and I hope you are having a week full of love and joy. Hugs and love.

  5. My arugula has gone crazy this summer (yay) and I am definitely doing this. Love the idea of a little peppery pesto! (And all that green... swimming in a pool).

  6. What an unusual pesto, Rosemary. Sounds fantastic. I have tons of arugula in the garden so something other than salad would be a great use for this robust leaf. Making these! Have a great weekend.

  7. Such a lovely dish, I love arugula and a wonderful way to make pesto. So glad to have found your blog - I'm signing up to follow you:)

  8. Gosh, those do look gorgeous on your green platter! YUM!

  9. You got me drooling at your description! yummy... and they look really pretty too! :)

  10. What a wonderful starter or snack. I happen to love edamame, so these would fit perfectly into my menus. I really like your recipe. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  11. I love your sister's monochromatic styling...the mint green platter goes so well with the arugula-edamane topping. The crostini sounds delicious, and looks lovely to boot!

  12. I love this healthy appetizer! So colorful!

  13. No rain dance around here. In fact, I'd be happy to try and blow some your way. I have edamame in the freezer just waiting to perform at a meal. Paired with arugula sounds very agreeable to me.


  14. Love the jade green coloured spread! Very pretty and appetizing.

  15. The crostini look great with that lovely green color. I might try the recipe using peas.


  16. I love your post and blog so much!!!.))

    I need your help. I spend another survey but this time with another question.
    "Where do you prefer to shop? What is your favorite shopping center?"

  17. I really like the looks of the green on green. A striking photo. I can't find fava beans either. It's nice to know what to substitute.


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