Green Pea and Mint Spread with Crispy Pancetta

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    24

    Pita Wedges

Appears in

Gourmet Game Night

Gourmet Game Night

By Cynthia Nims

Published 2010

  • About

Those Trivial Pursuit wedges eluding you? You can turn to one of these pita wedges while you’re waiting for the perfect category.

Sweet green peas make a wonderful purée base, and the flavor is brightened by fresh mint and accented with crisp pancetta. For a vegetarian version, omit the pancetta and top the spread with thin crispy fried slices of shallot.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen green peas
  • 3 tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth or water, plus more if needed
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 thin slices pancetta
  • 2 thick (6-inch) pitas (preferably without pockets)

Method

Bring a pan of salted water to a boil and prepare a bowl of ice water. Add the peas to the boiling water and simmer over medium heat until tender, 2 to 3 minutes for fresh peas, about 1 minute for frozen peas. Drain, add to the ice water, and let cool. Drain the cooled peas and scatter them on paper towels to dry.

Purée the peas, chicken broth, and mint in a food processor until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. The texture should be firm enough to hold its shape but not stiff; add another teaspoon or two of broth if needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate, covered, until you are ready to serve.

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta slices and cook until nicely crisp and lightly browned, about 5 minutes, turning the slices occasionally. Drain on paper towels.

Preheat the broiler and set the top rack about 5 inches below the heating element. Set the pitas directly on the rack and broil until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side (use tongs to turn the pitas easily). Let cool, then cut each round into 12 wedges.

Top the broad end of each pita wedge with about 1 tablespoon of the pea purée. Break the pancetta into bite-sized pieces and press a piece or two into the purée on each wedge. Arrange the wedges on a platter and serve.