For lovers of canapés, a recipe with fewer calories and more nutrition.
Healthy recipe: pea and edamame bean crostini
Canapés may be small and very moreish, but due to the fact that they are often made from calorific ingredients - cream, pastry, cheese, etc - they can be rather fattening.
The pea and edamame bean crostini here is light, healthy and really easy to prepare, making it a great alternative to crisps or nuts as a pre-dinner nibble. Accompanied by a green salad, they also make a tasty light lunch; just buy a larger baguette and increase the cooking time accordingly.
As well as being a complete protein, edamame (the pods of the soy bean plant) are low in fat, cholesterol free and a good source of fibre. They also contain calcium, iron, folate, phosphorus and vitamins A, C and K. Peas are low in calories, high in vitamins and minerals and add a touch of sweetness to the dip, while the spring onions provide a nice textural crunch.
Pea and edamame bean crostini
For the chunky pea dip
150g frozen peas
100g frozen edamame beans
50g labneh (low fat or regular)
3 spring onions, chopped
lemon, juice and zest
handful mint leaves
For the crostini
1 thin whole-grain baguette
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170/gas 5. Thinly slice the baguette, tip into a large bowl and drizzle over with the olive oil. Add salt and black pepper and toss well to coat.
Arrange the slices of bread on a baking tray and rub all over with the cut garlic. Transfer to the oven and bake for eight to 10 minutes, until crisp and golden brown. Leave to cool before adding the topping. You could make the crostini in advance and store in an airtight container for two days.
To make the dip, bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the peas and edamame beans, and cook for three minutes. Drain well, reserving the cooking water. When the edamame beans are cool enough to handle, pop them out of their skins.
Tip the blanched peas, edamame beans, labneh and spring onions into a blender. Add the lemon juice and two tablespoons of the reserved cooking water. Season with salt and black pepper and blend to a course, thick purée, scraping down the sides when necessary. Taste to check the seasoning.
Spread the pea purée over the crostini bases and arrange on a serving platter. Scatter over the lemon zest and mint leaves and serve.