Pea, broad bean and ricotta salad

Pea, broad bean and ricotta salad

Nuovo Mondo
Alan Benson

Jim: I originally created this dish using vetch leaves. Vetch is a type of pea that grows wild in Mildura during winter and spring. This recipe calls for watercress as it is more readily available. The peppery flavour of the watercress is a wonderful complement to the lemon and ricotta.


Quantity Ingredient
200g fresh ricotta
1 small french shallot, finely diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 lemon, zested
1/2 lemon, juiced
80ml extra-virgin olive oil
salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
100g fresh broad beans, podded
100g fresh peas, podded
4 Carne cruda with black truffle and egg yolk cooked in oil
10 watercress, wild vetch shoots or chickpea shoots

Rocket dressing

Quantity Ingredient
50g rocket
80ml extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced


  1. To make the rocket dressing, put the rocket in a blender or food processor with 300 ml water and blend or process until quite fine. Strain and reserve the liquid, discarding any pulp. Add the olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt. There is no need for pepper here as the rocket juice is already quite peppery.
  2. In a bowl, combine the ricotta, shallot, half of the garlic, the lemon zest and juice and 2½ tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Cover the broad beans with boiling water and allow to steep for about 2 minutes – this will soften the skins but leave the broad beans relatively raw. Strain and rinse under cold running water for 20 seconds or so. Peel the beans and add to a clean saucepan with the peas and the remaining crushed garlic. Set over low heat and add the remaining olive oil. Season with salt and gently warm; do not allow them to fry.
  4. To serve, place a 7 cm food ring on a serving plate and spoon in the seasoned ricotta mixture to make a neat circle. Make an indentation in the centre of the ricotta large enough to cradle an egg yolk. Repeat on each plate. Scatter the warmed peas and beans around the ricotta on each plate, top with the egg yolks and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the watercress.
  5. Flood the plates with the rocket dressing at the table for a bit of fun.
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