CROSTINI WITH MARINATED BROAD BEANS, RED PEPPERS AND RICOTTA

This crostini is packed full of colour & flavour and is a great way to impress people who are unsure about the deliciousness of broad beans.

Serves 4 as a light lunch or starter, or 8 as a canapé
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes plus marinating
Approximate cost per serving: 75p

Ingredients:

3 red peppers
250g podded broad beans (about 500g unpodded)
3 tablespoons best-quality balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 slices of sourdough or ciabatta
150g ricotta cheese

Method:

1.    Roast the peppers whole in the oven (200°C/gas mark 5) for 30-40 minutes until they are soft and tinged with a bit of colour.

2.    While the peppers are cooking boil the broad beans for 4-5 minutes until tender. Unless they are very young and fresh it’s a good idea to squeeze them out of their shells once cooked - you will be rewarded with a deliciously tender bean.

3.    Once the peppers are cooked leave to cool a little then peel and deseed. Slice along the length into thin strips.

4.    Mix the peppers and broad beans in a bowl with the balsamic, olive oil and garlic. Season to taste and leave to marinate at room temperature for an hour if possible – the flavour will improve.

5.    Just before you are ready to eat, brush 8 slices of sourdough or ciabatta with olive oil and griddle or grill until toasted.

6.    Top each slice with a generous spoonful of the bean and pepper mixture and crumble the ricotta on top.

7.    Finish with a drizzle more extra virgin olive oil and eat immediately.

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