Skip to main content

"Primavera"~cod cheeks, broad beans, a soup of spring leeks and a curried crumb

Nothing personifies spring for me more than the new season´s produce.Spring leeks,spring onions, spring greens,broad beans asparagus and peas, all these signify the arrival of the season of birth and nature´s reawakening.To celebrate the arrival of spring here is a plate I have christened "Primavera."
The challenge of preparing spring vegetables is always in preserving their fragile colour, texture and sweetness.Ones approach is to sautée them gently with onion, garlic and olive oil; the vegetables cook gradually in the water they render. Since the cooking time for each one varies, simply add the next vegetable when the previous one has lost some of its crunch but is not softened to the core; the flavours will remain distinct yet also blend harmoniously. Spring vegetables are most flavoursome when served lukewarm.With my new found discovery,cod cheeks this plate was designed to chase away the last grey clouds of winter and bring a bit of colour back onto the palate.

Serves 4
150g cod cheeks ( 3 per portion)

250g  strong flour
20g yeast
100 ml milk,heated to 33°C
6 egg yolks
2 eggs
40g sugar
20g salt
125g softened butter
80g roasted peanuts

300g fresh thick beans
50g orange pepper
16 spring onion quills


300g leeks,including dark green tops
100g dark green spring onion tops
50g onion,finely diced
1 clove of garlic crushed
50g butter
800ml chicken stock
200ml cream
100g smoked cured bacon
Cook the cod cheeks in olive oil for about 5 minutes,or until golden on all sides
Peanut crumbs
Slowly mix everything together in a mixing bowl for four minutes, then knead quickly for 6 minutes. Let the dough rise for half an hour, then place in a brioche-form (21cm /8" )and let it rise again for another half an hour. Bake 30 minutes at 180°C. Allow brioche to dry out, grate finely and season with 10g hot curry powder.
Broad beans
Peel the beans, blanch, shell and fry in olive oil with the diced peppers.
Leek soup
Halve, wash and cut leek into 2cm large segments. Peel onion and cut into cubes. Mash the garlic. Sauté onion and bacon in butter, add leek and garlic and sauté as well. Pour in chicken broth. Let cook until vegetables are soft, remove bacon, mix and pass through a sieve. Add cream and season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Place a circular pastry cutter (12 cm) in the centre of a soup plate and carefully spoon a light circle of crumb around the inside circumference,pushing the crumb with a teaspoon to get a neat edge.Make a pile of crumb in the centre of the circle.Remove the pastry cutter and carefully place the cod cheeks equi distant apart on the edge of the circle.Rest the spring onion quills on the cod cheeks and scatter the rest of the vegetables within the circle.Serve the soup on the side in a jug or similar vessel and let each person pour the soup over the assemblage.


Popular Posts