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Asparagus-Prosciutto Tartines with Basil-Pea Spread


  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 lb. fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 1 cup canned cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons snipped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 4 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into thin strips
  • 6 slices crusty country bread, toasted
  • Cracked black pepper (optional)


Preheat broiler. In a large saucepan cook peas in a small amount of boiling water for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer peas to a bowl of ice water to cool quickly, reserving the boiling water in the saucepan. Remove peas from ice water, reserving ice water in bowl; drain well. Place asparagus in a steamer basket; place basket in the saucepan over boiling water. Cook, covered, for 3 to 5 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Transfer asparagus to the ice water to cool; remove and pat dry with paper towels. Cut asparagus into ½ inch pieces.

In a food processor combine peas, cannellini beans, basil, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of oil, paprika, and salt. Cover and process until nearly smooth; set aside.

In a medium bowl combine asparagus, cheese, the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil, and the ground pepper; set aside. In a large nonstick skillet cook prosciutto over medium heat until crisp, stirring frequently.

To serve, spread bread slices with pea mixture. Top with asparagus mixture. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat source for 2 minutes or until toppings are heated through and cheese is melted. Top with prosciutto strips. If desired, sprinkle with cracked pepper.


Makes 6 tartines.

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