Eating them uncooked makes the most of peas when they are in season and available, their bitter sweet crunch an ideal foil to burrata’s indecent richness. Lovage is not a commonly used herb anymore and it’s this unknown that puts people off. It deserves a bigger audience again and this is a gateway dish, its strong and spicy flavour, with notes of celery, mellowed by the creamy burrata.
125g fresh peas (around 250g before podding)
2 pieces of chard
100g runner beans
2 tbsp fine salt
½ lemon, juiced
Sea salt, to taste
4 tbsp Lovage Pesto
4 slices bread, to toast
Place a medium sized pan of water on the stove on a high heat and add the fine salt. Cover and bring to the boil.
Separate the green leaves from the chard stalk and set aside. Add the stalks to the water and boil for around 5 minutes, till tender and then remove and place in a bowl of iced (or at least very cold) water. Once the water is boiling again add the chard leaves and blanch for around 2 minutes and then add to the iced water. Once cold, remove the chard and put in colander to allow to drain Allow the water to boil again and then blanch the runner beans for 2 minutes, again removing and placing in the ice water till cold, then removing and allowing to drain.
Squeeze both the chard stalks and leaves to remove as much water as possible, then roughly chop the leaves and slice the stalks into 1 cm pieces. Put both parts into a mixing bowl. Next, slice the runner beans into thin slice on a diagonal angle across the length, removing the stalk as you go. Add them to the chard, along with the fresh peas. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper and add the lemon juice. Mix well and taste to see if you are happy with the seasoning. If so, add the olive oil and mix well.
When ready to serve, drain the burrata and toast the bread. Arrange the pea/bean/chard mixture on a plate and then place the burrata on top, breaking it open a little to allow the creamy centre to ooze out . Sprinkle a little sea salt on top and then dot the Lovage Pesto around both the burrata and the vegetables.