Sea­sonal br­uschetta

Friday - - Food Special -

Prep time: 15 mins Cook­ing time: 15 mins Serves 6 130g ri­cotta 1 lemon, zest and juice of 1/2 bunch of fresh mint, finely chopped 80g fresh or frozen peas, blanched Olive oil, for fry­ing 2 gar­lic cloves, peeled 1/2 red chilli, finely sliced 500g ruby chard or spinach, large stalks re­moved 1/2 small cour­gette, cut into long, thin slices 1/2 small aubergine, cut into long, thin slices 1 cia­batta loaf (roughly 200g) 3 as­para­gus tips, cut in half length­ways and blanched 30g fresh or frozen broad beans, blanched 1/2 a pun­net of pea cress ex­tra vir­gin olive oil, to serve

1 Add ri­cotta, half the lemon juice and zest, half the mint and half the peas to a food pro­ces­sor and whizz un­til smooth. Tip in most of re­main­ing peas and pulse a cou­ple of times to roughly chop, but still keep some tex­ture. Sea­son to taste, then place in the fridge for later.

2 Driz­zle olive oil in a large fry­ing pan and place over a high heat. Finely slice 1 gar­lic clove and add to pan with chilli. Fry for 10 sec­onds, then add ruby chard or spinach, sea­son, then re­duce heat to medium and cook for 5 min­utes, or un­til soft and ten­der. Strain and store in the fridge for later.

3 Toss the cour­gettes and aubergines in a glug of olive oil. Place on a grid­dle pan over a medi­umhigh heat and cook for 8 min­utes, or un­til slightly golden and bar-marked on both sides.

4 Mean­while, slice the cia­batta in half length­ways and place un­der the grill for 1 to 2 min­utes on each side, or un­til golden. Halve the re­main­ing gar­lic clove and rub all over the toast.

5 Dot the pea mix­ture and chard or spinach over the cia­batta in stripes, then scat­ter over the grilled veg­eta­bles. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, then gar­nish with the as­para­gus, re­main­ing peas, broad beans and a scrap­ing of lemon zest. Top with the mint, scat­ter over the cress and driz­zle with ex­tra vir­gin olive oil be­fore cut­ting into por­tions.

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