Two of my favorite people in New York are Carrie and Andrew Purcell. Not only are they both fiercely talented (Carrie is a food stylist who's work you've seen all over the place including Bon Appetit, In Style, Sweet Paul, Rachel Ray and Fine Cooking; and Andrew's beautiful photographs can be found regularly within the pages of Martha Stewart and Everyday Food among others) but some of the sweetest people I have the privilege of calling friends. And I happen to believe they work their most exquisite magic together... like on their lovely blog Pictures & Pancakes. Please welcome Carrie and Andrew...
Carrie & Andrew say:
"We wanted to come up with bright fresh flavors that you could throw together quickly to entertain friends - now that it's staying lighter later, it's nice to gather for early evening cocktails and a nibble. We've had an urban family Easter tradition for the past 7 years or so and made delicious chilled pea and mint soup shooters one year. This is kind of a take on that but in crostini form. Fresh green herbs and veggies really signify Spring and renewal to us. After years of not truly experiencing Spring (everything blooms year round in AZ and CA!) we now really appreciate the change of season - the feeling of excitement when tiny green buds and shoots begin to appear and the city has a revived energy outdoors on each beautiful, sunny Spring day. We thought the mint in the cocktail complimented the mint in the crostini, while the bite from bourbon cuts through the sweetness of the peas. Early evening cocktails during the week or an afternoon treat on a lazy Spring weekend… enjoy!"
PEA & FETA CROSTINI (makes 10)
This is great with peas any time of the year and the vibrant color screams Spring. It's also great with fava beans and pecorino cheese! Use your best olive oil and preferably one that's nice and peppery.
1 1/2 c. peas (frozen defrosted or fresh, cooked and drained)
2 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/4 c. olive oil (plus more for garnish)
1 small multi-grain baguette (sliced 1/4" thin and broiled until crispy)
1/2 c. feta
1 bunch mint
Combine peas, lemon juice and salt in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. With the processor running, slowly add olive oil and puree until almost smooth. Spread about 1 T. on each crostini and garnish with crumbled feta, a crack of pepper, a few torn leaves of mint and a nice drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately or make a day ahead and refrigerate pea puree - bring to room temperature before serving.
46 & MINT (makes 1)
5 thin slices of cucumber
10 mint leaves (plus more for garnish)
1/2 T. agave syrup
1.5 oz. Maker's Mark 46 Bourbon
1/2 oz. St. Germain
2 oz. soda water
In a cocktail shaker, muddle cucumber, mint and agave. Add ice, bourbon and St. Germain and shake well. Strain over ice in a low ball glass and top with soda water. Garnish with a sliced cucumber and mint.
And Andrew's perfect playlist for a casual Spring gathering over cocktails...
Mrs. Cold : Kings of Convenience
True Love Will Find You In The End : Daniel Johnston
Simple Song : The Shins
Gravity Rides Everything : Modest Mouse
On My Way Back Home : Band of Horses
Run : Ben Kweller
As I'm Leaving : David Gray
Back Down South : Kings of Leon
Bowl of Oranges : Bright Eyes
I am Trying To Break Your Heart : Wilco
California : Rouge Wave
I'll Try Anything Once : Julian Casablancas
Shadow People : Dr. Dog
Sylvia Plath : Ryan Adams
How Come You Never Go There : Feist
I Buried A Bone : Blind Pilot
Soul One : Blind Melon
Overdue : The Get Up Kids
Stray Age : Daniel Martin Moore
The Wilhelm Scream : James Blake
Keep Me Awake : Tarkio
I'll Be Yr Bird : M. Ward
Kids On The Run : The Tallest Man on Earth
(Recipe by Carrie Purcell and photography by Andrew Purcell)