Posts Tagged 'peas'

broadbean, pea, pecorino salad & tiltshift photography

the internet taught me how to do tiltshift photography. so from this day on everything will be tiltshifted. as evidenced in the above image, im still not quite sure what it is that i am doing, or meant to be doing, or, for that matter, what the result is. but, as far as i can see its pretty bright and thats pretty good. but enough about the technicalities of what i do. suffice to say, im a creative person and i see things from a slightly tiltshifted point of view. no ordinary photographer me. so onto beans and peas and all things green. im not big into community but it appears i have seamlessly and entirely unwittingly slipped into the david jones community. i chatted to a cheese maker about the weather and she told me, as we parted ways, to enjoy my weekend and my pecorino. i spoke at length with a large man about the joys of shelled peas and we both agreed, you just cant shell them fast enough. when i went to purchase my broadbeans i was given a recipe for felafel with broadbeans and was promised by a bright young thing that next time i was in the “neighbourhood” she would bring me some felafel mix made by her mother. and i left feeling somewhat of a more social, more human, and mainly more tired being. and thats what i am prepared to go though to make a salad the likes of this. tiltshifting this salad was only the icing on a very delicious cake.


bunch of rocket, or spinach or whatevs

bunch of basil

250g fresh peas

500g broad beans (peeled – only takes an hour or two – boiling water for a minute. then under ice cold water for a minute. then the skins will peel slowly and tediously off, one after another after another)

1 avocado sliced

1 clove of garlic

salt, pepper

olive oil

finely shaved pecorino

first mix peas and broad beans together in a bowl. i actually cooked about a third of them (in a pan with some butter and finely chopped garlic) and mixed it in with the fresh stuff. it makes for textual interest. tear off some basil and put it in the bowl. throw in the sliced avocado. mix together with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.

arrange some rocket on a plate –

place peas, beans and avocado atop

shave some pecorino over the top. and voila

heres a tiltshifted one – yes… i went too far. i always do.

braised greens

also known as “the green thing”. having been given unutterable amounts of homework, and having been under the misapprehension that there was no such thing in this degree (it most certainly wasnt what it looked like in the brochure), and having then been exposed to a lively debate between americans in paris about why the gravel in the gardens of the tuileries is dusty, i decided i needed to move away from the books and return to the kitchen. this recipe was something i found in gourmet traveller and it was one of those things which seemed to elicit expressions of interest from ordinarily disinterested parties. dinners proper hasnt been done for so long that there was a lot of debate, hesitation, fear, uncertainty, hurdles, obstacle, and even some unpleasantness along the way. but its easy and delicious and though it was suggested that the cos lettuce could be substituted with a more elegant green vegetable, i am quite sure that its perfect how it is. thats pretty much all i have to say about this but the problem is, when this post is up, its back to the books. so ill tell you a quick story – a new bakery opened up around the corner from me. its done everything right, it drew me into its buttery web with its french name, its promise of pastries baked twice a day, its baker rolling out his dough at the front counter for my viewing pleasure, its staff crouching in the back alley with a cigarette in one hand and a cup of tea (in a glass) in the other in the early hours of the cold winter morning, evoking images and dreams of all i hope to be. but, and theres no gentle way of putting this, they are shit. from the outside their pastries look exquisite, layers of golden brown flaky pastry wrapped around a still warm, and so melting stick of chocolate. almond croissants with the perfect crisp looking almondy top. but bite into it and its doughy. there, i said it. doughy and uncooked. their bread stinks. and they are a sham. but why? why why why? how is it that they have so much right and yet underneath the surface its so wrong? dont they care? dont they love their pastries? arent they artisan? dont they realise the world shattering disappointment they have caused. and because of their appearance, they have me returning regularly because surely the last croissant, and the one before and the one before that were aberrations. each time i leave with what should be a little brown paper bag of heaven in my cold, frail hands, the promise of perfection is cruelly and unusually shattered, replaced only by a doughy aftertaste and a profound sadness for all that could be and all that never was. i cry out (internally, not yet audibly), i wish i knew how to quit you, but there is no response. only silence. the silence of baker that just doenst care.

unhappiness aside…here is the recipe for something that made things feel somewhat better and to some extent was able to fill the void between dreams and reality.


2tbsp olive oil

375ml stock (chicken, or vegetable…as you wish)

40g butter

2 garlic cloves finely chopped

2 cos lettuces quartered

400g peas (baby, and probably frozen)

250g sugar snap peas (snow peas will do if your supermarket is crap – but at least it doesnt claim to be anything other than what it is) halved lengthways

first, in a fry the garlic in the olive oil. the recipe also fried off a shallot but i didnt want the onion taste to interfere with what i was trying to do. once soft, not burnt, add in the butter and cook til foaming. then add the stock and cook for about 5 minutes until it has reduced by half. if you subscribe to the school of ‘peas and mint’, add a sprig of mint here and even some lemon rind. then add the lettuce and cook until it has just wilted (about 3-4 mintues). then add the peas and cook for another 2-3 minutes until they are just soft. season. remove from heat and eat while its hot.

threepenny risotto – braised rice with peas, parmesan and pine nuts

my gastronomic equivalent of brecht’s work of epic theatre…and it has thrup p’s. this recipe is a mutation of a julia child recipe for the french equivalent of risotto. it works everytime and theres no stirring and then when you finally come to publishing it on your blog you will be able to have made reference to two of the greatest historical/cultural figures in but only the first sentence. tragically, i used mushrooms and so the thruppenny risotto should also have an ‘m’ somewhere in there. but for the sake of wit, cultural allusions, and an impossibly clever title, perhaps we shall leave that part out.


2 white onions

50g butter

1 1/2 cups rice

3 cups chicken stock

300g peas (frozen. always frozen)

2 handfuls of parmesan

2 handfuls of pine nuts

pre-heat oven to 175 degrees. in a saucepan melt half the butter and add the onions – cook them slowly until they are soft and translucent but not brown. then add peas (or mushrooms…not that any went into this ‘p’-centric dish). season well with salt and pepper. then add your uncooked rice and toss the grains until they are completely coated and become translucent. finally pour in your stock (which should be simmering in another pot). place all this in an oven proof dish (unless you lived a charmed existence and are privileged enough to have an oven proof dish which can go on the stove or just privileged enough to have had the forethought to think of such a thing before you began. put in the oven at cook for 18 minutes. when you remove the rice from the oven take the lid off and stir through and ensure all the liquid has been absorbed. it should be oozy consistency (what kind of a word is that even? much less an effective adjective.) then stir in a few knobs of butter and a couple of handfuls of parmesan. then put the lid back on, and defying every natural impulse you might have, walk away and let it rest for a minute or two.

then serve with parmesan and pine nuts over the top. and so it was.