Recipe from A Perfect Day for a Picnic by Tori Finch (Ryland Peters & Small, 2013)
Photography by Georgia Glynn-Smith
Summer is the best time for terrines when one wants something cool and refreshing on the palate that is a sophisticated change to a salad. What’s more, a terrine is perfect for picnics as it can be prepared in advance, can be transported easily (make sure you leave it in the mould) and the presentation and textures can make a dramatic focal point to a meal.
- 36 asparagus spears (long, thin and tender work best)
- 2 large bunches of chard or spinach
- scant 1 cup fava beans
- 1 pat of butter
- 3 bulbs fennel, sliced
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 star anise
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 8 sheets of leaf gelatine
- 14 oz. goats’ cheese
- freshly squeezed juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- sea salt and ground black pepper
- a small bag of micro-herbs, to serve
For the mint oil
- a bunch of fresh mint
- 3–4 tablespoons virgin olive oil
- a 10 x 2½ inch terrine mould
Bring 3 cups of salted water to the boil. Drop the asparagus and fava beans in and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon and refresh in ice cold water, then leave to dry. Retain the boiling water.
Remove the stems from the chard and blanch for 30 seconds in the boiling water. Shock in cold water before placing in a paper towel lined sieve/strainer so there is no liquid left at all. Retain the water you have cooked the vegetables in.
Melt the butter in a very large heavy-based saucepan set over a low heat and add the fennel, shallot and garlic. Sweat until translucent, but do not brown. Add the star anise and coriander seeds along with the boiling water from blanching the vegetables and top up with another 3 cups or so. You should have approximately 6 cups of liquid. Simmer for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes the fennel stock should have reduced considerably. Strain the liquid and leave to cool a little.
Soak the gelatine leaves in warm water until floppy. Shake the water off the softened leaves and add them to the tepid fennel stock, stirring until dissolved.
Line the terrine mould with plastic wrap, leaving enough excess wrap to fold over the top.
Remove and discard the rind from the goat’s cheese, if there is any, and put it in a small mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper, add the lemon juice and zest and cream together with a fork.
Now start building the terrine. Start by layering the bottom of the mould evenly with half of the chard, making sure it is compressed down and pushed well into all 4 corners. On top of the chard, lay 12 asparagus spears in a layer, tip to tail. Spread over half of the goats’ cheese and press down so the goats’ cheese falls between the asparagus spears. Layer on half the fava beans, and make sure they are laying flat. Now pour in enough of the fennel stock jelly to just cover the layers in the mould. Put this in the fridge for 20 minutes or so to allow the jelly to firm up before repeating the layering process, starting again with the chard and finishing with the jelly. By this point, the mould should be full. Cover the terrine with the overhanging plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least 6 hours to fully set.
For the mint oil, simply whizz the herbs in an electric herb chopper or blender with a glug of olive oil to a rough purée. Add this to the rest of the olive oil with a good pinch of salt and decant into a bottle. Leave overnight to infuse and shake well before serving.
Keep the terrine in the mould until ready to serve so it is easier to transport. To serve, remove the terrine from the mould by lifting it out by the plastic wrap. Serve with some micro-herbs to garnish and a drizzle of mint oil.