People say podding fresh spring peas is therapeutic. To be honest, I don’t quite get it and find the task classically laborious. I hate to think how I'd go if anyone ever asked me to forage any further than my local farmers market or regional farm shop. Sometimes, tolerance if just not included, no matter how fashionable the exercise. I never owned a Pokemon. I never got into Lost. But please for this recipe, stick with me, avoid the frozen section and pod your peas and beans fresh. The recipe is a perky spring recipe, fresh makes all the difference.
Minted pea puree, broad beans and fresh chévre with lardo bruschetta
350 grams fresh spring peas, podded.
100 grams grated Pecorino
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Juice and zest of ½ a lemon
1 large handful or bunch of mint
Sea salt and cracked pepper
1 clove of garlic (optional)
1 spring onion (optional)
100 grams fresh broad beans or fava beans
Juice of ½ a lemon
150 grams fresh goats cheese
1 small handful of parsley
2 cloves of garlic
150 grams of lardo
4 thick slices of sour dough
- Lardo is a type of Italian charcuterie, white and herb cured strips of fatback. So good, just don’t worry about the health detriments, it’ll make you happy. Available at good Italian delis and food stores (try Speck in Holland Park or Monte's in Islington).
- Espelette pepper is a kind of dried chilli pepper, AOC protected and from the French commune of Espelette. It’s common in many Basque dishes, heated, but not hot. I buy mine online or stock up when visiting France.
- Blanch the fresh-podded peas and podded beans separately in salted water. Don’t kill them! A minute or so is they need to still taste like spring. Drain them and keep aside to cool.
- In a small food processor combine cooled peas, pecorino, zest, juice, garlic, spring onion and olive oil. Blitz but don’t over puree, texture is good. Add a little goat’s cheese to the mix if you’d like. Season to taste and refrigerate.
- Dress the beans in lemon juice, olive oil and finish with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Brush each slice of bread with olive oil and grill. Rub with garlic and sprinkle with salt. Just before serving slice on the diagonal and layer strips of lardo on top. With a kitchen blow-torch (or under the grill if you don’t have one) flame the lardo until it starts to melt into the toast. Season and sprinkle with parsley.
- To serve: Press a generous spook full of puree down a plate. Scatter marinated beans and small chunks of fresh goats cheese over the top. Shave rounds of raw baby radish next and finish with a pinch of Espelette pepper, and the warm lardo bruscetta.