Chapel Lane

A Summery Little Mouthful

Jenna Elsby

So here is a little recipe (if you can even call it that), which I whip out at pretty much any and every opportunity. It's a real bang for buck number.  I was taught this bad boy from a friend of mine, a very talented chef, who I met years ago and is now doing fabulous things in Sydney. He is a bright, energetic and foul mouthed scouse whose food has as much personality as he does. He has a whole philosophy about canapés and food for events that he explained to me once at the beginning of my career, and it has stuck with me ever since.

Canapés / nibbles / bites / antipasti whatever you want to call them - as food goes have a pretty rough time of it. Generally served in a party scenario they have so much to compete with  - loud music, conversation, not to mention tastebuds that are taking a pounding from various alcoholic drinks in quick succession. To get noticed they have to pack a real punch, and trust me when I say these little bites really do. The trick here is to over season, not by crazy amounts, but a few notches past where you would normally dare venture. Trust me, it works. 

David O'Brien's Pea, Mint & Ricotta Crostini


1 x small French stick
1 tub of ricotta cheese
Half bunch of fresh mint leaves
1 x cup of peas (defrosted frozen peas are fine)
Zest of 1 x lemon + juice
Salt & pepper


  1. Cut the French stick into 1 cm disks and lay on a baking tray, on top of baking parchment
  2. Brush with olive oil and season with sea salt (I use Maldon sea salt)
  3. Toast in a pre-heated moderate oven for approx 5-10 minutes until golden but not too crisp
  4. Finely chop the mint leaves and add to the ricotta in a bowl
  5. Gently bruise the peas so they are mashed but not mush
  6. Add peas to mint and ricotta mixture, along with the zest of the lemon and enough juice to taste and loosen
  7. Generously season and taste. Adjust seasoning / lemon juice as required
  8. Once the crostini slices are nicely golden remove from the oven and set aside to cool
  9. Add generous spoonfuls of the pea and ricotta mixture to the crostini and grate fresh parmesan over the top

I like to  serve these on a wooden board and let people help themselves. Sadly, they never last long.


Jenna x