Around the world in 80 dishes No. 57: Broad beans and goat's cheese on toast

Ingredients to serve four as a tapas

12 tablespoons Pedro Ximénez balsamic vinegar
100ml good-quality olive oil
2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
500g Monte Enebro (or other mild goat's cheese), skin removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
200g fresh broad beans (shelled)
3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
4 slices of sourdough bread, 2cm thick
1 large shallot, peeled and finely diced
50ml chicken stock
4 fresh mint leaves, cut into fine strips
Extra virgin olive oil, for finishing


This is a great starter or light meal. Shelling and skinning the broad beans is time-consuming, but is necessary for the dish to be successful. Don't worry too much if you don't have any chicken stock to hand – use water or a good dash of manzanilla sherry.

Put the balsamic vinegar into a small pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until it has reduced by two-thirds. Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook gently for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the thyme leaves, then remove from heat and set aside. Crumble the goat's cheese into a blender, add the onions plus black pepper. Blitz well and set aside. Blanch the broad beans in boiling water for 1 minute, then plunge into a bowl of iced water. When cool, drain again and set aside.

Heat 2 dessert spoons of olive oil in a frying pan and toast the sourdough slices on both sides. Halve one of the garlic cloves and rub over one side of each slice. Chop the other 2 garlic cloves. In the pan used for the toast, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the garlic and shallot and cook for 2 minutes. Add the beans, then the stock and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the mint and remove from the heat.

To serve, spread the goat's cheese mixture over each slice of toast. Spoon the beans on top, season and drizzle with olive oil and the reduced balsamic vinegar.

Taken from "Barrafina – A Spanish Cookbook" (Fig Tree, £25).