Friday, 25 May 2012

Spring veggie salad with confit lemons and garlic bruschetta

This is an unpretentious recipe. Frugal, plain and simple.
The kind of food I like cooking.
Vibrant green vegetables and fresh herbs, garlic and a top quality extra virgin olive oil.

This 'green' salad combines some of the best and healthiest produces of this season: asparagus, fava beans, and 'agretti'.
You may be wondering what 'agretti' taste like. I guess it's not that easy to find these vegetables outside Italy, or the mediterranean countries. 

They have a grassy, earthy flavour and we usually cook them with pasta or as a side dish. I had never thought of combinig them to other vegetables in a salad, though reading this book may have had some influence on my latest cooking endeavours.

Last but not the least, with this post I take part to the contest 'Salutiamoci, mangiare bene per stare bene': the challenge is to cook something good and healthy too. Each month a different italian blog will be hosting the contest, choosing an ingredient amongst super natural foods (the list of ingredients has been developed with doctors who deal with cancer prevention and other serious deaseases).

This month the contest was hosted by 'Stella di Sale' and fava beans were the chosen ingredient.

Hope you enjoy the salad!
Take care,

Ingredients for the salad (serves 2/3):

asparagus: 1 bunch, approx. 800 gr - 28 oz.
agretti (barba di frate): 450 gr - 16 oz.
fava beans: 900 gr - 32 oz.- unshelled
coarse salt

Ingredients for the citronette:

extra virgin olive oil: 4 tblsp
preserved lemons oil: 2 tblsp
lemon juice: 1 tblsp
garlic: 1 clove - peeled and crushed
fresh ginger: 1/2 half tblsp - grated
salt and pepper: to taste

Ingredients for the bruschetta:

wholemeal bread: 4/6 slices 
extra virgin olive oil: 3 tblsp 
thyme: 3/6 sprigs - with flowers 

For garnish:

confit lemons: 1 big, or 2 small
chives flowers

~ ~ ~

Prepare the citronette: in a medium size bowl wisk together preserved lemons oil, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper. Let sit for about 15 minutes. Stir well. Reserve.

~ ~ ~

Shell the fava beans, wash and rinse them, discard any damaged or rotten bean. Set aside.

Wash 'agretti' carefully under cool running water, then cut off any roots, yellowish or extra thick stem. Set aside.

Wash the bunch of asparagus under cool running water, then trim away the bottom of the stalks (the white and thick part of them, 1/3 of the stalk will do). 
If you like so, you could peel the stalks, so that they are the same width as the tip. Thin stalks of asparagus do not need peeling. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine tap water and ice.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add coarse salt (the water should be as salty as seawater).
Add the shelled beans to the boiling water and let cook for about 5 minutes, then remove from the saucepan and plunge into the ice water. Let the beans cool, then peel the outer skin from each of them.

Meanwhile cook the asparagus: plunge them in the same saucepan of boiling water and let cook at least 8 minutes, or until the tips are tender. Remove from the saucepan with a skimmer and plunge into icewater.

Cook agretti in boiling water for 5-10 minutes, until wilted. drain well and let them cool completely.

~ ~ ~

Drizzle some olive oil in a large skillet and place it over medium heat. Transfer bread slices in the skillet, heating slowly until bottom is golden brown. Flip bread slices and toast the other side as well. Rub the slices with the garlic clove and garnish with thyme.

~ ~ ~

Combine the vegetables in two large individual plates.
Pour the citronette on the salad and gently toss to coat; add the confit lemons, halved and quarterd, and serve with garlic and tyme bruschetta. Garnish with chives flowers. 


stelladisale said...

grazie per la partecipazione, bellissime foto :-)

Roberta said...

Grazie a te, Stella, per aver ideato questa bella iniziativa, che seguirò - tempo permettendo - anche nei prossimi mesi!

Complimenti anche a tutte le altre bloggers che hanno partecipato! ;-))

roberta cobrizo said...

grazie anche da parte mia, Roberta, per il tuo interessante contributo a Salutiamoci ;-)

Katy said...

Mi piace tutto di questa ricetta, ma proprio tutto-tutto! ^____^

Lo said...

toc toc....volevo dirti che da Stella è pronto il pdf del Salutiamoci di maggio: fave e piselli. Sei pronta ora per partecipare a giugno? Ti aspettiamo :)

Roberta said...

Grazie Katy! ;-)
Sono contenta che la ricetta ti sia piaciuta!

Grazie a te, Roberta (che confusione tra omonime!) sono contenta di averti conosciuta tramite questa bella iniziativa!

Holy Food said...

Great article with excellent idea! I appreciate your post. Thanks so much and let keep on sharing your stuffs keep it up.holy food

Roberta said...

thank you 'Holy food' and welcome!
So happy you liked the post, :-))

Anonymous said...

Per caso ho visitato questo blog, ma è bellissimo davvero a cominciare dalle foto....... mi complimento. sarà nei miei preferiti, un saluto affettuoso.

Roberta said...

Grazie Nadia per il tuo commento e per le tue belle parole

a presto

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