In lieu of Cocktail Friday this week, I’m posting the 2nd of 6 courses from the wine dinner at Ursula’s. Not to worry, the liquor will start flowing again next week, but for now we are going through a little detox.
For the second course of the wine dinner, I made these edamame crostini with Meyer lemon and shiso. The idea behind the entire dinner was to show the diners how to enjoy new ingredients in familiar dishes. Crostini has become a mainstay in many restaurants and recipes are everywhere for these little toasts, making it a perfect way to explain the fusion of ingredients.
This recipe came to fruition after I made something similar using fava beans in Tokyo last spring. My original idea was to use yuzu (for more info on yuzu, check this post from the White on Rice Couple), but since it is unbelievably difficult to find in the United States I went with the Meyers. I was pleased to find that the sweet yet tart flavor was actually very close to that of the Japanese citrus I love so much. If I could have limitless yuzu year round I would be a happy chica.
Once I decided on the Meyer lemons, I opted for shelled edamame as a base rather than fava beans which were also difficult to find this time of year. The bright green soy beans tasted like springtime in Japan and offered a vibrant color to the crostini. The shiso (read more about shiso by clicking here), with its slightly minty flavor, was the perfect way to accent this fresh dish. It was wonderful hearing positive feedback about the crostini as guests were biting into the creamy topping and crunchy toasts. The wine-master, Kurt, paired the crostini with a fresh, floral sake called Yuki No Bosha Junmai Ginjo. The pictures above show a glass of Toad Hollow Chardonnay, which was a great pairing as well.
So what do you do if you can’t find shiso? Substitute a little basil in the recipe instead. And if you can’t find Meyer lemons, use regular lemons. Most grocery stores these days sell shelled edamame in the frozen section, so take a look the next time you go shopping. This is a healthy, fast and easy appetizer to make. If you have frozen edamame in your freezer, you’ve got the makings of a great appetizer on-hand! Enjoy!
Edamame Crostini with Meyer Lemon & Shiso
Makes about 30 crostini
2 baguettes, sliced 1/2 in thick
Olive oil, for brushing the bread
4 cups shelled frozen edamame, cooked following package instructions
1/4 cup meyer lemon juice (from about 1 lemon) and zest
1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
1/3 cup shiso leaves, roughly chopped
1/3-1/2 cup olive oil
Heat the oven to 375 F. Arrange the sliced bread on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil and bake for about 10-15 minutes. Keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn. Adjust the heat if they are browning too quickly.
Meanwhile, place the cooked edamame, lemon juice, half the lemon zest, garlic, and shiso in a food processor. Pulse 4 or 5 times to combine the ingredients. Then, with the processor running, stream the olive oil through the top until it reaches a creamy, but not runny, texture. (Think hummus.)You may not need to use all the olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper. Spread the edamame mixture on the toasts, the top with the leftover lemon zest.
*To make ahead, prepare the spread and the toasts separately. Store in airtight containers, refrigerate the spread, and reserve for up to 2 days.
Salt & Pepper to taste