I was off to a friends rooftop for a fabulous dinner party last night and was pondering what to make…I knew it had to be something healthy, colorful and easy…
The idea for this dish originated from a more practical weeknight dinner I made earlier in the week with some left over veggies in the fridge. It consisted of pea purée with roasted asparagus and garlic with a sunny side up farm egg. So I thought why not spruce it up for a ladies dinner party? Now I love peas with their refreshing little spheres of green tenderness and let’s be frank, it’s amazingly hot outside so I don’t really want hot food so this dish had to be chilled. I roasted the garlic and bread crostini while boiling the eggs and peas. Then I whirled them up in the blender to make the pea purée. Then I assembled them at my girlfriends place in just a few minutes! It would be easy to make parts of this when you have time throughout the week but if not it takes about an hour to do it all at once… Bon Appetite!
CHIC LITTLE QUAIL EGGS ON TOASTS WITH PEA PUREE & PROSCIUTTO
12 quail eggs, cooked, peeled and halved
1 cup vinegar
3 thinnish slices of Pumpernickel or Rye bread cut into squares
6 slices of prosciutto
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 head purple garlic, roasted
1/4-3/4 cup vegetable stock
5-8 leaves of fresh mint
5-8 leaves of fresh basil
1 tbsp good quality unsalted butter
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
A few cracks of fresh pepper
A pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt or Kosher Salt
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. While the oven is heating cut the top off of the garlic and place it on a sheet of foil. Drizzle a little olive oil over top and gently gather the foil around it. Place it in the oven directly on the rack. Roast it for 45 minutes to one hour.
While the garlic is roasting get a pot of fresh water boiling. Add the peas to it and check them for doneness periodically. Once done, drain, and cool in an ice bath. If using frozen peas, thaw in a bowl then drain.
Cut the slices of bread and remove crust. cut them into 1″ x 1″ squares and place on baking sheet. Drizzle a little olive oil over top and season with salt and pepper. Bake alongside the garlic until just toasted. Remove and cool.
Now, rinse the eggs in warm water and then place them in a sauce pot. Add equal parts water and vinegar (usually 1 cup each depending on your pan) just so the eggs are fully submerged. Bring it to a boil and turn off the burner, let them sit for 5 minutes. Drain and cool in an ice bath then peel carefully. This part is the most time-consuming, so just be patient…
Now for the purée, in a blender add the peas, garlic (just squeeze the garlic to release the roasted paste) veggie stock, butter, olive oil, mint, basil, and season with salt and pepper then blend until nice and smooth.
Assembling the dish: on a plate or platter, place one crostini, then a piece of prosciutto, a small scoop of the purée (I used a piping bag fitted with a metal tip but you could also use a plastic zip bag with the tip cut off), then a quail egg half on top. A pinch of salt and pepper over top and your done!!!
PERFECT SUMMER WINES…
What do the French drink while lunching beachside in the south of France? Rosé! Why you ask? Because it is refreshing, usually dry (not sweet) and compliments the lighter cuisine of summer. Things like grilled octopus and fish, crisp vegetables with briny olives. Of course white wines are delicious but rosé really hits the mark on a hot summer day.
Here’s what I recommend for this recipe…2010 Domaine de la Fouquette Cuvée Rosée d’Aurore, Provence France for around $15! I bought mine at Le Du’s Wines here in Manhattan.
Although, any french rosé will do in my opinion, if you can’t find the recommended wine, look for something from Provence rather than Loire Valley or even something from the US since the Provençal Rosé has a nice balance of fruit and acid without being sweet or overly acidic. If you really want to fancy it up, try a sparkling rosé, I tend to like Domaine Carneros Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine since it’s more affordable than french champagne. I promise any of these will be the perfect complement to hot summer days spent with friends!