Spring on the plate.A bruschetta of spring vegetables

Dear diary:back from the market and I am sitting at the kitchen table podding favas.Some might say its time intensive, but the benefits that are gained from podding your stress away outweighs everything.I Look forward to it as a relaxing, meditative pause in my day and twenty minutes later, with a bowl of vibrant green pulses, I´m half way to preparing  dinner.The challenge of preparing spring vegetables is in preserving their fragile colour, texture and sweetness. The best approach I think 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 flavourful when served lukewarm.
 This simple, spring-forward appetizer is all about using the stellar spring ingredients available in the East Algarve.....any of the following can make up a delicious topping for a bruschetta..Fava beans, asparagus, haricots verts,baby leeks,courgettes,asparagus,peas, spring onions and new season garlic.A drizzle of honey over the top makes a perfect dressing.Beyond delicious I would say.

Bruschetta of spring vegetables

500 g new season fresh broad beans (podded weight)
3 tablespoons requeijao or creme fraiche
1 Small green chilli, chopped
about 12 fresh mint leaves, picked and chopped
a few pinches of hot chilli (optional) 
juice ½ a lemon
1 level tsp of fine sea salt
a few grinds of fresh pepper 

Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the favas and cook until tender. Drain and refresh in iced water.remove shells Blitz the favas, Requeijao or crème fraîche and a little seasoning together in a food processor.

Choose your combination of vegetables from what is seasonally available and soften them lightly with shallot and olive oil.They really dont need much cooking.Leeks,spring onions and celery should be finely shredded.Asparagus and haricots verts can be steamed or boiled separately and then used as a topping.The same goes if using peas and when cooking the favas keep some back for garnish also.

Cut a generous slice of artesan bread or rustic baguette, drizzle with olive oil, rub  all over with raw garlic,especially the crusty edges. Spread a generous layer of the fava purèe all over the bruschetta then layer your softened vegetables over the top.finish with peas, favas and finally spears of asparagus.Drizzle with honey(optional)


    Popular Posts