I love Giada De Laurentiis. She is an amazing chef, with an amazing life story..and quite honesty, I see myself a little in her. Maybe thats why I’m somewhat partial to her on the Food Network..and she is beautiful, that always helps! Last week I got an email saying she was coming back to Dallas for a signing of her new cookbook, Giada at Home. This is probably my favorite of the 5 cookbooks she has written (all of which I own…) I really like Giada’s Family Dinners too, but after deciding that I was going to make/re-create every dish on every page, I think I like her new one best. A couple years ago, I had the opportunity to go to the William Sonoma (my favorite store, EVER.) in Southlake for a book signing of Giada’s Everyday Pasta. I was somewhat star struck, as it was my first time meeting her. I got up to her and no words came out of my mouth! She could clearly tell I was tongue tied, jumbled, and nervous. Finally, Giada grabbed my hand and said, “Amber, it is so nice to meet you!” and the only words I could get past my heart beating in my throat was “I LOVE YOUR SHOW.” Way to go, Amber. I’m sure that she hasn’t heard that before. I was a little more cool and collected this time..even though I couldn’t feel my face. Tehe..
In the time we were waiting in line, the gracious William Sonoma employees were keep the massive crowd pleased with samples from Giada’s cookbook. Very delicious looking appetizers were being passed around- and then it came to me. Some kind of pesto crostini. YUM- I love pesto..and bread. Carbs are great! After gobbling it up with 1.5 bites, I fumbled through my cookbook to find out what the heck I just ate, and when can I leave to go home to make it?! Green Pea Pesto Crostini…Ew. I.Hate.Green.Peas. Really, I do. I never have liked them, and even after everything that has hit my tongue- I still cannot warm up to them. BUT- how did this taste so wonderful?! Giada has done it, I really like green peas.. but only pesto. The ONLY exception.
After reading the recipe, I didn’t even have to try and calculate the calories, I knew it was up there because of all the oil used. Like any pesto recipe, it calls for a lot of oil to be used, and it is the good stuff- but even too much of the good stuff can be a bad thing, it is still calories. So, I recreated and manipulated, and cut those calories WAY down, and it still tastes AMAZING!!
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 whole wheat baguetteDIRECTIONS:
In a food processor or blender combine peas and garlic; process until well blended. Add cheese, vinegar, lemon pepper, salt and olive oil; process. Blend in broth until desired consistency.
Preheat oven to 300°F. Cut bread into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet. Turn bread over, cover with the baking sheet and bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week. (A 16 inch baguette will make about 4 dozen slices.)
To assemble the crostini, transfer bread to a platter and spread 1 to 2 tablespoons on to each slice . Top each crostini with two tomato halves and serve!!
Note: For use on a crostini, use less broth for a paste-like pesto. For use on something like a pasta toss, use more for a liquid consistency.