We’re Cooking: 2 Appetizers In 10 Minutes

Sweet Pea Puree and Tuna Tapenade

I am finally having a girls night…it has been a while.  But, as it seems to go, time today has slipped away from me and I found myself scrambling in the kitchen to whip something tasty up for us to snack on with the bottle of Ruffino Pinot Grigio I have chilling in the refrigerator.  Luckily we have been entertaining quite a bit lately, so though there isn’t anything solid in the kitchen…there are lots of elements that can be mixed together into something special.  With a little inspiration I whipped up these two appetizers in about 10 minutes total.  And, to my great delight, both are incredibly tasty, perfect for a spring or summer afternoon, and will be great on a Caraway Finn Crisp with a chilled glass of wine.  Note – they do look a little like baby food…I promise, they are not….Whew….Cheers!

Recipe:

Sweet Pea Goat Cheese Puree
I use baby peas for this and when blended with the cheese creates a surprisingly sweet spread great on its own, or would be a tasty base under smoked salmon or grilled halibut.
Ingredients:
1 can baby peas, drained and rinsed (I would have prefered frozen peas, but none in the freezer…either would work great.)
2 tablespoons fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh mint
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
zest of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fat free half and half
1 heaping tablespoon mascarpone
1 heaping tablespoon parmesan cheese
4 oz goat cheese
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon black pepper
Additional salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
In a food chopper or blender chop the herbs with the half and half.  Add the rest of the ingredients and blend together until everything is incorporated well.  Adjust seasoning to your taste.  Pour into your serving dish and chill until ready to serve. 

Tuna Tapenade
This is a lot like any olive tapenade, but the addition of tuna adds another layer of flavor.
Ingredients:
2 cans of good quality tuna, well drained
2 1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 tablespoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olives in oil (any olive is great, I used green olives that were in a Mediterranean spice oil)
4 cornichons
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 chopped garlic clove
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 – 3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt to your taste (the anchovy paste is very salty, so adjust after the spread is blended)

Preparation:
Blend all ingredients together in a blender until well incorporated.  Adjust seasoning with any additional salt and pepper.  Spoon into a serving dish and chill until ready to serve.

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