Pea and mint torte with asparagus, Parmesan shavings and herb oil

11 September 2006
Pea and mint torte with asparagus, Parmesan shavings and herb oil

(serves about six)

1 bunch spring onions
Olive oil
1kg fresh garden peas
Handful of mint leaves
1 litre vegetable stock
150g ricotta
150g crème fraîche
2 large free range eggs
50g Parmesan, grated
Salt and pepper

For the herb oil

1 bunch tarragon
Olive and grapeseed oil

To garnish

Asparagus, blanched, refreshed and cut in half
Parmesan shavings
Herb oil (see note)

Saut‚ the onions in olive oil until soft. Add peas. Turn up heat and cover with hot stock. Cook until tender. Drain and cool. Reserve half the peas whole and pur‚e the other half with the mint. Add the stock, ricotta, crème fraîche, eggs and Parmesan. Mix well and transfer to a bowl. Fold in the whole peas and season.

Line six 25ml x 25ml tartlet cases with clingfilm. Spoon in pea mixture to 5mm from the top. Bake at 190ºC for 20 minutes. Cool. Boil asparagus in a little seasoned olive oil and water. Drain, and garnish tortes with them. Serve with mixed salad leaves and herbs, dressed with vinaigrette, and drizzle around the herb oil.

Note: For the herb oil, blanch a bunch of tarragon and blitz (to taste) with equal quantities of olive and grapeseed oils. Store in the fridge in sealed jars.

Photo © Alan Donaldson

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