This was inspired by a Rick Stein clip I saw on TV this Saturday where he cooked an incredible mixture of fresh Mediterranean vegetables to serve alongside tuna steak with salsa verde. When I went to look for the recipe online I couldn’t find it so I just used the basic foundation – potatoes, courgettes and spinach – of the original and added some extra seasonal ingredients I picked up in Evergreen and The Dublin Food Co-op.
The last time I was in the Co-op was years ago, it was just after they’d moved into Newmarket when you used to have to pay in; I found the selection wasn’t great and never went back but I think I was a bit too hasty in writing it off because I was really impressed this time around. The entrance fee is now gone and there was a fantastic amount of great produce from Irish grown San Marzano tomatoes to raw milk (well, as of next week). On impulse, I picked up a few beautiful baby beetroot with the most fresh (it can be very hard to get unwithered ones) deep purple leaves as you can see here:
The courgettes I found too were excellent: nice and short and only slightly wider than the width of my finger; it’s great because in most shops you can normally only buy tasteless, oversized monsters. The same stand I got these from also sells edible flowers which I had such a nightmare trying to find in Dublin before that I went to Homebase and bought a load of nasturtium seedlings. I am now deluged with a glut because I bought too many so I stripped the ones I planted in the greenhouse where they’ve taken over and used them too.
The thing about this dish is it relies on the quality of the ingredients: if the vegetables aren’t at their peak there’s no place for them to hide and it’s going to be a disappointing meal; naturally this means the olive oil used to finish must be of the best provenance as well. I would also recommend seasoning quite aggressively to help bring out the flavours given how much water courgettes and spinach give off when cooked.
4 small courgettes, quartered
1 clove garlic
25g young beetroot leaves
100g baby spinach
150g broad beans, shelled weight
300g cooked baby potatoes, halved
1 lemon, juice and zest of
15g parsley, finely chopped
- In a pot of boiling, salted water cook the broad beans for 1-2 minutes.
- Remove them from the water and plunge into iced water to stop them cooking.
- Peel the beans and reserve.
- Heat a pan on a medium heat and add the oil.
- Saute the courgettes and garlic for 2-3 minutes to soften.
- Add the beetroot leaves and spinach and cook until wilted down.
- Add the potatoes and broad beans and warm them through.
- Take off he heat and stir in the lemon zest, parsley and nasturtiums.
- Season the vegetables with lots of salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.
- Pour in a generous helping of olive oil and mix everything thoroughly before dividing between two plates.