An extra portion for all bean-sheller helpers here! Don’t be put off by the need to start with skinned beans: buy them already skinned (I have seen them in a few Middle Eastern grocers’) or else it’s a fun and therapeutic task to delegate to helpers – little or big. Serve with toasted sourdough as a starter.
BROAD BEAN SPREAD WITH ROASTED GARLIC RICOTTA
Serves four to six as a starter
- 1 head of garlic (10 cloves), cloves separated, skin on
- 125ml olive oil
- 240g ricotta
- 3 tbsp soured cream
- 2 lemons, rind shaved in long strips from one; 2 tsp finely grated zest from the other
- 600g broad beans (400g if starting with skinned beans)
- 1½ tbsp lemon juice
- 15g mint leaves, chopped, plus 1 tbsp shredded mint leaves to garnish
- salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 220ºC/200ºC Fan/Gas Mark 7.
Mix the garlic cloves with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, place on a baking tray and cook for 15 minutes, until soft. Remove from the oven and when cool enough to handle, squash each garlic clove out of its skin using the back of a fork. Discard the skin and place the flesh in a small bowl, along with the ricotta, soured cream, ¼ teaspoon of salt and some black pepper: use a whisk to mix everything together well and set aside.
Place the remaining olive oil in a small saucepan with the shaved lemon skin. Place on a medium heat, bring to a gentle simmer, then remove from the heat to cool and infuse.
Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the broad beans, blanch for 1 minute, drain and then remove them from their skins. Crush the beans with a fork, add all but 1 tablespoon of the lemon-infused oil (removing the skin first), lemon juice, chopped mint, ½ teaspoon of salt and some black pepper and mix together.
Spread the ricotta mix in a thin layer on to the base of each individual plate or one larger platter. Spoon the broad bean mixture on top, lightly spreading it out to cover most of the ricotta. Sprinkle over the shredded mint and grated lemon zest and finish with a drizzle of the lemon-infused oil.