The moment the sun shines, I think about milky cheeses – feta, mozzarella and burrata – as the stars of a light lunch or to add to a table of salads. Out comes the chewy bread, sometimes toasted, sometimes just torn from the loaf, in thick airy slices.
Pod enough broad beans to give you 125g (a good 500g of beans in the pod). Put a large pan of water on to boil, salt it lightly, then add the beans and let them cook for 5 or 6 minutes until tender. Remove the beans with a draining spoon or kitchen spider then bring the water back to the boil and add 125g of shelled peas.
If your beans are young and very small, you can leave them as they are. If they are on the larger side, then you might like to remove their pale outer skins. Drain the peas in a colander and set aside with the beans.
Pull the leaves from 15g of basil and put them into the jug of an electric blender. Pour in 150ml of mild olive oil, 2 tbsp of cold water, a half tsp of sugar and a little salt, then process to a thick, green dressing. Stir into the peas and beans.
Break open 2 balls of burrata and place one each on 2 plates or shallow dishes. Spoon some of the peas, beans and their dressing over the burrata just before you bring them to the table. Enough for 2
The eventual weight you will get from a bag of broad beans and peas and peas in their pods can vary alarmingly. I allow up to 500g of broad beans to harvest about 125g of beans, but much will depend on the age of your beans. At this time of year, when the pods are small and tight, you may fare even better than that.
I sometimes put a bed of sliced tomatoes under the burrata, or a slice of toasted sourdough. The tomatoes or bread will deliciously soak up some of the dressing.
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