If you’re into home gardening (or just eating the things that come out of gardens and farmer’s markets), Nigel Slater’s latest cookbook, Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch (which was just released in the U.S.) is full of inspiration. The book, which tells the story of his impressive home garden, has over 400 recipes for 29 vegetables that he’s grown himself, and most of them are ones we’re excited to see cropping up for Spring, including his recipe for beans, peas, and pecorino.
Whether you’re just trying to eat more vegetables, or looking for a green addition to your Easter brunch menu, we think this recipe looks about as good as it gets for spring peas:
A salad of beans, peas, and pecorino
enough for 4
shelled fava beans – 12/3 cups (250g)
shelled peas – 3 cups (400g)
ciabatta – 4 small slices
a little olive oil
salad leaves – 4 generous handfuls
mint leaves – a good handful
pecorino sardo cheese – 3 ounces (80g), in thin shavings
for the dressing
olive oil (fruity and peppery) – 4 tablespoons
balsamic vinegar – a teaspoon
Bring a pan of water to a boil, then salt it lightly. Cook the beans in this, drain them, then rinse in cold water. Put more water on and cook the peas. Drain them and mix with the beans. Both peas and beans will need barely more than a couple of minutes if they are small and sweet.
Make the dressing by dissolving a good pinch of salt in the juice of the lemon, then using a fork to beat in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a grinding of black pepper (alternatively put all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake).
Toast the slices of bread on both sides and tear them into short pieces. Drizzle a little olive oil onto each one, then shake over a light dusting of sea salt.
Toss the salad leaves and mint in the dressing, then add the peas, beans, and pecorino shavings. Tuck in the toasted ciabatta and serve.
Reprinted with permission from Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch by Nigel Slater, copyright © 2009, 2010. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
Photo credit: Jonathan Lovekin © 2009