Friday, November 26, 2010

high tea - part 3 - broad bean puree with herbed oil and toast

This recipe, along with the previous two, were all swimming around in my head while we were away on our break. I'd been reading an article about Stephanie Alexander who was talking about Broad beans and how she liked to have the first few of the season, fresh. She made them sound sooooo moreish. So, not knowing a lot about them, I thought I'd have a play around.....and I still am really!

On the day of the high tea, everyone said that they really liked the puree (unless they were all being very kind!) There was something about the flavour I wasn't too sure about (I'd also forgotten to take off the 2nd layer of the bean which made the puree a little grainy - as Caroline's husband said, "It's like pesto") So I've re-jigged the recipe a little. In the original I added parsley to the puree but don't think it was necessary and also added a little too much oil. Hold back on those two and the true flavour of the broad bean really shines through. See what you think....


serves 4

500g broad beans (pod them the night before. You'll need about a cup)
1 tablespoon salted butter
salt and pepper
1-2 teaspoons fresh ricotta
extra virgin olive oil
1 thyme sprig per person plus 2 extra
bread of your choice to serve

how to make your broad bean puree with herbed oil and toast

Put 1/2 cup of the olive oil into a bowl and add the 2 extra thyme sprigs. set aside. Just before serving discard thyme sprigs.

Pop oven on to 200C. Grab your bread and cut into rough slices (or however you like) Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper and drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil. Pop in the oven for 10 -15 minutes, or until crisp.

Pop a saucepan of water on the stove. When boiling add the broad bean and boil for about 2 minutes. Drain. When you can touch them without burning yourself, take off the outer layer of each bean and discard. Now you are left with a soft and juicy green thing that looks like a large slightly morphed pea!
Pop them in your blender and add the butter and ricotta. Blend to a puree. Spoon into a bowl and add salt and pepper. Stir and check seasonings.
I thought these looked cute served individually but you can do one large dish, of course. Dollop puree into serving dish, drizzle with a little of the oil and then top with a sprig of thyme. Serve with the toast. Enjoy!

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