Yes, it's that time of year again.....it's that time when we look at ourselves in the mirror. Fortunately there are lots of Italian foods that are not fattening! This is a light recipe that one could serve as a starter or as a main course.
I use Vittorio Cassini olive oil. It is beautifully aromatic and perfectly complements the sweet peas and the creamy tang of the goat's cheese.
Serves 2 as a main course (4 as a starter)
- 25 g butter
- 2 large banana shallots, peeled, then sliced into rings
- 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus a pinch
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 thin slices of fresh italian bread
- 50 ml olive oil, plus 2 tbsp
- 200 g fresh sweet peas, blanched and refreshed
- 100 g fresh broad beans, blanched and refreshed
- 1 tsp chopped tarragon
- 60 g goat's cheese, diced
Heat the oven to 180 °C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Begin by caramelising the shallots: heat a medium-sized frying pan, then add the butter. When foaming, add the shallots, ½ tsp salt and thyme. Cook gently until golden - between 5 and 7 minutes.
Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for a further 10 minutes, then set aside. Brush the bread with 2 tbsp olive oil and bake in the preheated oven for 5-8 minutes, until crispy.
To assemble the salad, place the peas, broad beans and tarragon into a bowl.
Mix with the remaining olive oil and a pinch of salt. Arrange on plates with the shallots, goat's cheese and croûtes.