Crostini with Edamame Puree & Cherry Tomatoes
Crostini with edamame puree is a quick, easy starter that’s perfect for sundowners. It’s light, fresh, and delicious. This quick recipe comes together in just 20 minutes, and the puree can easily be prepared in advance.
As the years go by, I find myself yearning for some of the traditions I fondly recall from my childhood. In the small town where I grew up, spring and summer happy hours were a front porch affair. If you happened to be taking a walk — and many folks walked with their cocktails — it was an opportunity meet and greet your neighbours. Snacks and gossip were shared across the porch rails, and it was a community gathering.
Living in the time of coronavirus, such traditions seem like a distant memory. However, we can recreate a sense of warmth and community within our homes by making happy hour a communal experience on a smaller scale.
At our house, it’s become increasingly difficult to have family dinners because everyone’s schedule is different. Some of us work with colleagues in Europe, Asia, the United States or other parts of Africa. So, 9 to 5 schedules have gone out the window. To compensate for lost dinners, we’ve been creating some simple, tasty starters, and using happy hour as our gathering time. We converge around bite sized nibbles, put our devices down, and share a glass of wine (or a soda, for the younger set).
This new routine is helping us to create a new normal. It has also become a wonderful time to bond, share our online lives, and laugh a little. In passing along this recipe for crostini with edamame puree, it is my hope that it will inspire you to create a little happy hour routine of your own — whether it’s over Zoom or in person.
Edamame are immature soybeans. While they have long been popular in Asia, they are a relatively new arrival in many parts of the world. Here in South Africa, they’ve only recently become widely available in the frozen food section of our local supermarkets.
For me, this has been an exciting new development, because edamame are not only tasty. They’re also an incredibly versatile and healthy ingredient.
For vegetarians and vegans, in particular, edamame are a terrific source of healthy protein. One cup of shelled edamame contains a whopping 18.5 grams of plant protein. They are also one of the rare sources of plant protein to contain all the amino acids your body requires for optimal health.
Moreover, edamame are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fibre. Amongst other things, 100 grams of edamame contains:
- 78% of the recommended daily allowance of folate,
- 33% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin K1, and
- 50% of the recommended daily allowance of manganese
In addition to plenty of healthy vitamins and minerals, edamame may also:
- Reduce unpleasant symptoms of menopause,
- Reduce your risk of prostate cancer, and
- Reduce age-related bone loss.
With health benefits like these, edamame are definitely a vegetable you ought to add to your rotation. The simplest way to prepare frozen beans in the pod is simply to microwave them for about 90 seconds. Then, you can quickly pop the edamame out of their pods, sprinkle them with a little fleur de sel, and enjoy them au naturel. However, they can also be incorporated into stir fries, salads, grain bowls, or whipped up into a simple crostini with edamame puree as I do here.
About this Recipe
As with any simple recipe, the quality of your ingredients is paramount. That special olive oil will really shine in this dish. So, I strongly suggest you break out your favourite, peppery extra virgin olive oil and use it here.
I have opted to garnish my crostini with micro herbs. However, you could just as easily snip some seasonal herbs from the garden to garnish with. Herbs that would work well include:
Nasturtium (flowers and a leaf or two),
I hope this simple recipe helps you start your very own lockdown happy hour tradition and that your family enjoys it every bit as much as mine does. Bon appétit!