Cockles and Broad Beans
Updated: Oct 30, 2021
I reckon that if you go out to eat "tapas" in London you probably pay somewhere around three to four times as much as you would for the equivalent meal in Spain. Why not pay for the flight to Spain instead? It's really nice there. And the food can be outstanding for not much money.
This recipe, although it's more of an assembly, shouts of early summer. The cockle fishery is open for the rest of the year (June to December, closed for the purposes of sustainability otherwise), and broad beans are back on the veg stalls and starting to overwhelm those of us who subscribe to a vegbox scheme. For me, that's fine, I love broad beans.
The thing is that, although this recipe comes from one of my favourite chefs, Matt Tebbutt, whose restaurant is in South Wales, it's got northern Spain oozing out of it. A very good friend of mine is a merchant of fine wines and a very accomplished cook. I put this one to him, and suggested that it needed to be accompanied by a Fino. A quality example he proposes is A.R. Valdespino Inocente Single Vineyard Fino Sherry. In his words: "A fine nose. Extremely dry with a caramel and pistachio edge. Should balance nicely with the salty cockle and piquant vinaigrette." Another, very affordable, example he suggests is Morrisons Fino Sherry, the 2016 silver medal winner of the International Wine Challenge. Morrisons say: "Hola! A glass of sherry that's great with shellfish? You betcha!". Links to both are below.
This dish, plus a plate of Jamon Iberico, some good bread and a glass of Fino has got to make for a great "tapas" supper.
Cockles and Broad Beans
Cockles, cooked, meats removed from the shells
Broad beans, cooked, large ones double-podded
Garlic, 1 clove
Extra virgin olive oil
Dill, finely chopped
Chives, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bash the garlic clove and put in a small bowl with the sherry vinegar to steep for an hour or two, then strain.
Combine the olive oil, the now-garlicky vinegar, the herbs and some seasoning to create a herb vinaigrette.
Add the vinaigrette to the cockle meats and broad beans, and check the seasoning. Allow the flavours to incorporate for a little while and then serve at room temperature.
Inocente Fino Valdespino: https://www.leaandsandeman.co.uk/wine/INOCENTE-Fino-Valdespino-8459-00.html?pack=10033&categoryFilter=211&page=0&sortOption=2&resultsPerPage=12
Morrisons Fino Sherry: https://groceries.morrisons.com/webshop/product/Morrisons-Fino-Sherry/217652011
"Matt Tebbutt Cooks Country", Matt Tebbutt, 2008, pp. 160 http://www.mostlyfood.co.uk/index.php/matt-tebbutt-cooks-country/