Chèvre, Radish, Pea, Mint
Given that this dish is really no more than an arrangement of ingredients, I thought I’d try being a little arty and came up with the presentation pictured above. If you are less into the idea of your salad as an abstract artwork, then all torn up in a typical salad-y style (below) also looks pretty.
The choice of radish is also entirely a matter of aesthetics. While the regular round sort are fine, I love the radial pink patterns found inside the longer, pointy sort. According to the internet, these are called ‘French Breakfast’ radishes – I’ve no idea if anyone actually calls them this, but you could always try asking at your local market...
- 1 round of fresh goat curd
- Handful of radishes – preferably the pointy, white-tipped ones
- 100g (approx.) fresh peas in their pods
- A few stems of freshly picked mint
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon – zest and juice (& a second lemon to serve, optional)
- Sea salt flakes
- Black pepper in a grinder
Start by shelling the peas, and putting a small saucepan of water on to boil. When boiling, blanch the fresh peas for 30 seconds only, then drain and place immediately in an ice bath to cool. This will ensure that the peas retain their bright colour.
Next, take a sharp knife and slice your radishes into very thin rounds. Then pick the youngest leaves from your stems of mint, and finely grate the zest from the lemon (zest very lightly, to avoid cutting through to the bitter white pith).
To assemble, place the whole round of goat curd centrally on your serving plate, and then scatter the peas, radish slices, whole mint leaves, and lemon zest down one side of the dish, partially covering the cheese. Or, alternatively, separate the curd into small chunks and scatter these across your platter, interspersed with the radishes, peas, mint, and zest.
To dress, cut the zested lemon in half, and squeeze the juice from one half over the entire dish. Follow with a light drizzle of olive oil, a liberal scattering of salt flakes, and a fairly generous grind of black pepper.
If you wish, cut a second lemon into wedges to garnish in the style of the first picture.