Open-Face Sandwich with Fresh Peas and Tarragon
Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser
Prep Time: 35 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes
This open-face sandwich (the French call it a tartine) is wonderfully flavorful. It’s lovely for a brunch and completely perfect as an appetizer or on a buffet table. It’s easy to make the pea purée up to a day before and simply put it together before serving; then collect the oohs and aaahs.
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped shallot (about 1 large shallot)
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3¼ cups fresh (or frozen, defrosted baby) peas, divided
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
½ teaspoon minced fresh parsley
¼ cup Roasted Vegetable Broth or store-bought low-sodium vegetable broth
4 hard-cooked egg whites, roughly chopped
¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
¼ cup pea shoots
¼ cup Preserved Lemon and Roasted Garlic Aioli made without the roasted garlic! (see Kitchen Tips for a quick substitution idea)
- Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan set over medium-high heat until it ripples. Add the shallot and cook, stirring and shaking the pan, for 2 minutes, or until translucent. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with a misting of nonstick vegetable oil spray. Set aside. Prepare a bowl of cold water and set aside, fairly close to the stovetop.
- Rinse the peas in fine-mesh strainer under cold running water and swish with your fingers to remove any dirt. Remove and discard any peas that have sprouted. Set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the peas and blanch for 2 to 3 minutes and then transfer them to the cold water in a fine-mesh strainer to shock them and stop the cooking. They should not be cooked through, and the green should be vibrant. When cooled, drain and reserve ¼ cup of the peas.
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the remaining peas, the salt, sugar, and lemon juice, and purée until the mixture is chunky and the peas are well broken up. This is a rustic pea purée, not a pea soup. You could actually chop this on a chopping board if you don’t mind the time or mess.
- Transfer the pea purée to a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir in ½ teaspoon tarragon and the parsley.
- Gently fold the egg whites into the pea purée, and then set aside while you prepare the open-faced sandwich.
- Slice the top section off the loaf of bread and reserve for bread crumbs or another use. Cut the remainder into 4 sections between 5 and 7 inches long.
- Place the bread on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 3 to 4 minutes, just to warm and toast it slightly. Turn the bread over and toast for another 2 minutes. The edges brown lightly.
- Place one-fourth of the pea mixture on each piece of bread, then top each with one-fourth of the aioli, followed by one-fourth of the crumbled cheese and the pea shoots. Garnish with the remaining ¼ cup peas and the minced tarragon. Serve immediately.
For a fast aioli that’s not quite an aioli but tastes great (if you are short on time), use the best mayonnaise you can find, add the zest and juice of a lemon and you are ready to go.