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Saturday, 11 May 2013

Asparagus, broad bean and pea tart

Our starter for Saturday night was inspired by a dish from Chez Bruce in London. It was so refreshing and bursting with all the flavours of spring, that we decided to make something similar.
With no recipe to follow, we came up with our version. The addition of chopped fresh mint to our lemon dressing set this dish alive and our pulses racing.
We estimate the dish at below 250 calories and this starter quickly became a favourite of ours. We know we will be eating it again... very soon. It will also make an excellent light lunch - just double up on the quantity. 
We were going to make do with Parmesan shavings, but thought we would buy the Pecorino. This was a good move, as the Pecorino has something about it that works so well with all the ingredients. We stopped at the deli counter and asked for a small piece, and they were very obliging. Here's our recipe:

Serves 4
50g plain flour
25g butter
80g fresh broad beans
80g fresh peas
 asparagus spears (optional)
30-40g ricotta per person (a good spoonful)
pea shoots or rocket leaves
a few shavings of Pecorino cheese
10ml lemon juice
zest of half lemon
30ml olive oil
chopped fresh mint
1/4 tsp of mustard
salt and pepper
Mix the plain flour and butter together to form fine crumbs.

Add a small amount of water - we used about two teaspoons. Bring the mixture together into a dough form. Wrap in cling film and store in the fridge until ready to cook.

Roll the dough and cut into rectangles. We cut rectangles each weighing 20g (75 calories each). 

Place the pastry shapes onto an oven tray covered with greaseproof paper. 

Prick the pastry with a fork. 

Place another piece of greaseproof paper on top and cover with another baking tray (to weight it down). 

Cook the pastry in an oven at 180ÂșC for 8 minutes. The greaseproof paper should now be easy enough to remove.  Once removed, cook again for 2 minutes to brown slightly.

Cook the broad beans for 3-5 minutes until softened. Allow to cool then remove the outer skins and set aside. 

Cook the fresh peas (and asparagus if using) for 3-5 minutes and set aside with the broad beans.

When ready to serve, heat the vegetables through for one minute - or you can serve cold.

Mix together all the ingredients for the lemon dressing and give it a good shake.

Add some of the dressing to the vegetables and stir through.

Arrange the pastry slice on a plate, add a scoop of ricotta and sprinkle with the vegetables. 

Drizzle with more of the lemon dressing over and add the chopped fresh mint and decorate with either pea shoots or rocket leaves. 

TIP: If you have little time - then buy some short crust pastry for the base of this tart.
TIP:  - Do you know how many calories you are allowed each day?
Here's a link to our very first blog post about our weight loss journey, which we began in January 2011. We started this blog as a way of recording what we ate while losing weight. The blog is a food diary, and contains lots of recipes, tips and ideas about losing weight.
You'll find our WEIGHT LOSS PLAN here. 
Copyright © forget dieting forever (2013), all rights reserved. Please do not copy any of this material without my express permission.

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