As a true seasonal food aficionado, Chef Gerald has been obsessed with greens for the past few weeks. Ever since spring finally arrived on our shores, he has thoroughly been sampling/quality checking any bright green vegetable in the Bistro kitchen or fridge, from herbs to baby spinach, baby fennel fronds, broccoli, peas and broad beans.
And, in keeping with Chef Gerald’s newly discovered green passion, Mummy has also been looking for more ways to incorporate even more veggies into our diet When it comes to the old 5 & 2 a day ratio, we find that it’s easy to cram lots of veggies into your lunch and dinner, and even snacks, but breakfast has always been the laggard. Except for the occasional indulgent veggie juice or smoothie, or weekend omelette, we must admit that our usual brekkie is rather lacking in this important aspect.
But this was all about to change soon. We still had the gorgeous peas we bought from St Kilda Farmers’ Market last week, and a random search through the BBC GoodFood website revealed this most intriguing recipe for Pea and Broad Bean Hummus that immediately shot up to the top of our must try list.
Another ingredient we’re absolutely in love with at the moment is quark from Elgaar Farm inTasmania. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Quark is a type of mild fresh cheese, which is very popular in Germany and Central Europe (and at Bistro Gerard ). It is traditionally made by adding cultures (not rennet) to fresh milk, then stirring it frequently as it curdles. Stirring ensures a lovely smooth texture, somewhere between fromage frais and labneh. Apart from the delicious taste, it also has the added benefit of a very low fat content (Elgaar quark has 0.1% fat), which makes it an excellent choice for a healthy breakfast.
Chef Gerald is currently also experimenting with balcony farming, and we are pleased to report that his collection of newly planted herbs is coming along very nicely. The Chef was delighted to be able to incorporate his very first dill harvest into this hummus.
Green Pea and Broad Bean Hummus (adapted from BBC GoodFood)
250g fresh or frozen green peas
250g fresh or frozen broad beans
Zest and juice from one large lemon
1 tbsp freshly chopped dill
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Add the peas and broad beans, return to boil, then cook for approximately 3 minutes. Drain and rinse immediately under cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain well.
Place cooked peas, broad beans, and all remaining ingredients in a food processor and blend on high speed for about 3 minutes, or until the hummus has reached your desired consistency, then season well with sea salt. We wanted ours still a bit chunky, but if you prefer a smooth paste, you will need to increase the blending time. Leftover hummus will keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days, and will make a delicious snack or light lunch option, if accompanied by some crisp pita or lavash bread.
To make breakfast tartines with green hummus and quark, take a slice of good quality, fresh bread and spread it liberally with quark. Top with a generous amount of pea and broad bean hummus. Enjoy