Monday, January 21, 2013

Cognac Crostini with English Peas, Parmesan and Mint | Secret Recipe Club

Happy 2013 and welcome to a new year of Secret Recipe Club!  If by chance you are not familiar with the secret recipe club, let me quickly share the concept with you.  It is a group of approximately 200 food bloggers who love to cook.  I guess that goes almost without sharing. Smile. Wink. Once a month you are paired up with another food blogger in the group and it is a secret who has you until the reveal day.  On reveal day, you can see who had you and what recipe they decided to select and make for the reveal day.  Reveal day is so much fun!  If you want to join in the fun, simply log on to the Secret Recipe Club and learn how.

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This month I was paired with Kate from A Spoonful of Thyme.  You can certainly sense that Kate cooks from her heart as a way to put a smile on her family and friends faces.  Kate’s grandmother had a significant influence on her along with her mother, since they were both wonderful cooks.  I was impressed that 33 years ago she became part of a gourmet group that challenged her to be a better cook and to this day the group is going strong.  It was important for Kate to have her family gather for meals at the table and the more the better.  Kate believes “that there is always ‘thyme’ to cook and sit down as a family for the evening meal.  Cooking is a wonderful way to bring family and friends together to enjoy food and each other.  With a good recipe and ‘a spoonful of thyme' wonderful things can happen.”

After browsing through her extensive recipe collection, many things looked very tasty, but one thing simply intrigued me.  Her Crispy Cognac Crostini was unique and sounded incredible.  I had recently purchased some pre-shelled English Peas from Trader Joe’s and had on my list to make a Crostini appetizer with them.  Saturday night I hosted a dinner party and I decided this would be the perfect occasion to make these for my guests.  With the cognac and garlic on the crostini along with the pea, parmesan and mint – this was a two bite piece of heaven.  The bright green color just drew my guests in and that first bite simply exploded with so much delightful flavor. 

This goes down as one DARN great crostini; especially with the addition of the Cognac Crostini.  If you want to elevate your next crostini, this one will achieve your goal.  My friend last night said to me – “you need to write a crostini cookbook and will this one be in there?”

Cognac Crostini with English Peas, Parmesan and Mint

Makes approximately 24 crostini


1 baguette, 24 slices
5 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp cognac or vodka
2 clove garlic, crushed
Sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Slice in to 1/2 inch thick pieces and lay out on a baking sheet

In a bowl, combine olive oil, butter, garlic and cognac. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, so that the flavor of the garlic is infused into the oil (the butter should be melted by then). Stir well.

Brush both sides of each baguette slice generously with the flavored oil.

Toast under the broiler for slightly over 1 minute, or when the sides start turning crusty and golden brown. Take the baking sheet from the oven, sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.


1 ½ Cup English Peas or similar
¼ Cup Olive Oil
½ teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese + additional for topping
Mint – chiffonade

Blanc peas in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove from water and place into a food processor.  Add the garlic, salt, olive oil and 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese.  Pulse until well combined.  Taste and add additional salt and olive oil if needed.

To assemble, take about a tablespoon of pea mixture and place on top of Crostini and top with a bit of parmesan cheese and a few chiffonade pieces of mint for garnish.


  1. Cognac crostini and that fresh pea and mint topping?! Mouthwatering, this is a must-try! :)

  2. Sounds like a fantastic appetizer! Love the use of the cognac. Thank for sharing!

    Happy Valley Chow

  3. Love peas and mint. But, cognac baked crostini? Brilliant! Thanks for posting this for SRC this month.

  4. What a great blend of flavors. I love the bright green color!

  5. I love crostinis and these look awesome; really delicious recipe!

  6. I love the bright color and I imagine the bright flavor with the peas and mint. Of course the hubby would dig the cognac flavor most of all ;-) this will be a must try for me.

  7. I am happy that you enjoyed the crostini. I think the Cognac gives them a super flavor and with the addition of your savory topping ..WOW! Thank you for the lovely words!

  8. Wow what a great pop of color! Oh great crostini queen you must teach me! I love to eat them but have never tried to create them at home. Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. What a great recipe. Crostini is one of my favorite appetizers, and I am already planning to make this for a party coming up! I love the shaved parmesan!! Yum!

  10. Fancy fancy! Your description has me drooling and the photos are so pretty. I'm going to have to Google English peas now to see if regular USA peas will work-lol.

  11. Hi Lisa, what a fun secret recipe club blogger you got this time. I love Kate's blog and her wonderful recipes. These crostini sound amazing and I love your bright green vibrant topping! the whole thing sounds so delicious!

  12. What a beatiful and elegant little bite of heaven!

  13. I love love loved stalking your blog this past month! Well I've been stalking for alot longer than that, but still loved it :) I made your crab and chipotle aioli deviled eggs and they were DELISH! They are all gone now :( Seriously gonna make more asap. Love your photos and this looks and sounds so fancy :)

  14. Very interesting with the Cognac crostini...YUM! I'm going to miss bread and all kinds of grains with my new Paleo diet...but now worries, this is not a goodbye forever to carbs - just only until I reach my target weight...then I can indulge in carbs and treats on the weekend!!! This one's going to my "treats" files!

  15. I love this! Such a great spring recipe...yes, I said spring. I'm looking ahead. Winter begone!

  16. I usually have a hard time eating peas, but you made them look so beautiful that I'm going to have to give this a try! Love it!

  17. Whoa, I am going to have to try these cognac crostini! They sound incredible! As does your English pea topping...and your photos are just plain gorgeous!

  18. I'm so glad that this recipe is no longer a secret!!! So pretty-love the color and the flavors-it does look like the perfect appetizer to enjoy while dreaming about Springtime;-)

  19. A secret recipe club?How fun! and yet one more awesome appetizer idea from you to add to my list!

  20. Sounds like an awesome recipe made even better with the Lisa touch. I agree that you need to write a crostini book!!! :)

  21. Lisa, you have a knack for choosing the most incredible recipes!!!! Can't wait to try this. And, oh can I ever think of variations on this theme... Bloody Mary Crostinis, sweets ones with vanilla vodka - say strawberries and some goat cheese mixed with cream cheese and mint... Speaking which - Mint Julep crostini... Ok, now my brain is really having fun.

  22. ooooh! i've been meaning to make some kind of pea costini for ages! yours are beautiful and anytime you're cookin with liquor, you're definitately cookin'. am i right?? ;)

    happy src reveal day! xo, kristy

  23. Adding cognac to peas and mint? That´s genius! A fabulous recipe!


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