As the weather starts to warm up I turn to simple, clean flavours to power me through the day. The fabulous thing about this recipe is that it is as delicious served cold as it is served right away. This means it makes for the perfect packed lunch. Beets and edamame (soy) beans are packed full nutritional goodness and the orecchiette will fuel you up and help to keep blood-glucose levels on an even keel – bye, bye afternoon sugar cravings. Simply toss everything together, find a nice spot in the sunshine and enjoy.
½ cups (approx. 180g) frozen edamame beans, thawed
2 spring onions, green and white parts chopped
1 large handful fresh coriander
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp goat’s cheese
1 large bunch of baby beetroots, tops removed, peeled
2 cups baby leaves, such as spinach or chard
½ cup finely chopped bread crumbs*
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh rocket, to garnish
*Homemade breadcrumbs are best for this recipe. To make, simply take a 2 slices of day old bread and place in the bowl of a food processor, whiz until finely chopped. Alternatively, you can tear the bread by hand for a more rustic look.
Preheat oven to 200C
Place baby beets in a roasting dish, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, pop into the oven to roast for 25-30 minutes, until tender and cooked through. Set aside to cool before slicing in half.
Cook orecchiette in boiling salted water until pasta is al dente. Drain and keep warm.
Using a mortar and pestle, pound the thawed beans, spring onion, coriander, goat’s cheese, the juice of ½ a lemon, and a little black pepper until well mashed together. Taste and adjust seasoning and amount of lemon juice to your liking.
For the breadcrumbs, heat a little olive oil in a pan over high heat. Add breadcrumbs and fry until golden and crisp. Transfer to a piece of kitchen towel. In the same pan wilt the baby leaves with a splash of water.
Squeeze the remaining lemon over the drained pasta along with a scant drizzle of olive oil. Toss to coat.
When ready to serve, divide pasta between serving plates or bowls. Top with smashed edamame, wilted leaves, beets and a crumbling of goat’s cheese and breadcrumbs to finish. For a final flourish, garnish with rocket or baby herbs and finely grated lemon zest. Serve.