Crispy set polenta, slow roasted balsamic tomatoes, broad bean pesto and charred asparagus with homemade goat’s curd

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 125g quick cook polenta, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 500ml pack of vegetable stock
  • 2 small handfuls of baby plum tomatoes
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 peeled clove of garlic, smashed
  • 6 spears of green asparagus
  • 140g broad beans
  • 1 litre fresh, non- UHT goats’ milk
  • 80m lemon juice – about 2 lemons
  • ½ bunch mint, leaves only
  • ½ bunch basil, leaves only
  • 20g pecorino, finely grated
  • A good drizzle of aged balsamic
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • The nicest most delicious olive oil you have/can find
  • Sea Salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 130C Fan/150C Electric/Gas mark 3

Place a small saucepan of water on to boil for your polenta (check your pack instructions for ratios of water to polenta, but keep to 125g polenta). Whisk in the polenta and keep whisking until it thickens to a porridge consistency. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and scrape into a tupperware or onto a plate in a frisbee-style mound. Place into the fridge to set.

Meanwhile, bring the goats milk up to the boil. Add the lemon juice, and a good pinch of salt. Stir through and allow to stand for 1 minute. Carefully pour into a muslin lined sieve over a mixing bowl. Allow to strain slowly.

Prick your tomatoes once with the tip of a sharp knife. Toss through olive oil (not your super nice stuff), the garlic, thyme and place into a small roasting dish. Drizzle over a little balsamic and place into the oven. Roast slowly until shrivelled and sweet. If they start to colour, reduce the heat. When ready, remove and set aside.

Toss the asparagus through some olive oil, salt and fresh black pepper. Place onto a small roasting tray and roast until cooked to your preference.

Meanwhile, for the broad beans. If your broad beans are fresh you can just remove the pale green shells from the larger ones and keep the smaller ones in tact. If only frozen are available, you can blanch them in boiling water for 2 minutes and refresh in ice water. You won’t need to peel them as they’re usually quite small.

Using a pestle and mortar, bash the basil and mint leaves to a paste with a pinch of salt. Add the broad beans a few at a time and bash to make a creamy rustic paste. It will take a bit of time, persevere. Add the pecorino and bash through to incorporate. Stir through your loveliest extra virgin olive oil and adjust seasoning with salt.

Once your polenta has set, cut into rustic wedges and coat in a little of the extra polenta grains. Heat a large frying pan with a good splash of oil and when just smoking, add the polenta and fry until browned, repeating on all sides.

Once the goats milk has strained, your goats curd in the muslin will need seasoning. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Plate any which way you like arranging the goats curd, tomatoes, polenta and asparagus about the plate finishing with the broad bean pesto and drizzle with the balsamic oil from the tomatoes.