If you read this blog, then you may be aware that I love my magazines. There are advantages and disadvantages to this, viz:
- food mags provide lots of inspiration for meals, cooking, eating out and food styling
- home mags show you other people's amazing houses in the suburbs and it ignites a flame of hope that your house could be like that
- fashion mags provide pics of Hollywood starlets in the latest trendy getup (good for a laugh)
- there are so many gorgeous food mags that I have to get them all, and I don't have any more shelf space
- the beautiful homes are always owned by other people and I know that, really, there's no way my house could ever be like that
- I have no idea who some of the starlets are, and just giving their first name doesn't help - who the heck are Fearne, Jess and Khloe??
Regardless of their shortcomings, though, any doubts about the usefulness of my magazines is swept aside when I spy a fabulous recipe (with photo), leather Swan chair (in white), or Daphne Guinness taking a tumble in ridiculous platform booties (thank goodness for paparazzi).
Case in point: this wonderful recipe from Gourmet Traveller. It's by chef Alex Kearns (of Glebe Point Diner and Neutral Bay Bar and Dining), and it's full fresh, zingy flavours and brilliant colours and textures. It's the Dolce and Gabbana of spring eating.
Broad bean, pancetta and poached egg salad
serves 2 as a light meal
150g podded broad beans
4-5 thin slices pancetta
2 tblsp white wine vinegar
2 eggs, at room temperature
150g podded peas
2 tblsp parsley, finely chopped
1 tblsp mint, finely chopped
1/2 tblsp dill, finely chopped
2 tblsp lemon juice
2 tsp caster sugar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1. Make the lemon vinaigrette: whisk together the lemon juice, sugar and a pinch of salt. Then whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt - the vinaigrette should be quite sweet. Add the garlic and stir.
2. Put the broad beans in boiling water, and return to the boil for 3 minutes. Peel the broad beans and set aside.
3. For the pancetta: place the pancetta on a baking tray and heat in a 180C oven for 6-8 minutes, until crisp. Drain on paper towels then break into pieces.
4. For the poached eggs: bring a shallow saucepan of water to the boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer, then add the vinegar. Crack an egg into a cup, and, one at a time, slide the egg into the water. Stir the water to make the eggwhite swirl around the yolk. Cook until soft, 3-4 minutes. Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and drain.
5. For the peas: cook peas in boiling water for 4 minutes. Add the broad beans for the final 20 seconds, to warm through. Drain, transfer to a bowl, add the parsley, mint and dill, and mix together.
6. Add half the vinaigrette to the beans and peas and toss to combine. Add the pancetta pieces. Divide the salad among bowls, top with an egg. Drizzle with remaining dressing, season with black pepper, and serve.
Recipe adapted from Gourmet Traveller (Oct 2010)
Ingredients: peas, broad beans (skins removed), pancetta and eggs.
I used frozen peas and broad beans which makes this dish possible even when they're not in season.
The lemon vinaigrette is sweet and tangy at the same time.
And the soft-poached eggs let their runny centres meld into the salad...