Creamy pea dish is perfect partner for sauvignon wine

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The Navigator, Swanwick

FOOD REVIEW: Sometimes simplicity is the way to go amid gastro-mania

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Chef Lawrence cooks up a pea panna cotta that proved popular at a recent tasting event.

At Fat Olives we tend to hold two wine-tasting evenings during the year, which we try to make fun and informative at the same time.

During each evening our guests sit at long tables to encourage conversation about the wine and food.

A few weeks back we held such an evening and were lucky enough to have the opportunity to show some elegant, soft wines from the Margaret River, South West Australia, which were quite different to the stereotypical Aussie wines most of us know.

Wine expert and Weekend columnist Alistair Gibson from Hermitage Cellars brought along the wines to taste and shared his vast knowledge and good humour on the subject.

We enjoyed three pairs of wines and a plate of half-size starters with each to show the interesting combinations that are possible when food and wine are put together.

With the sauvignons we had pea panna cotta. A cured salmon, passion fruit jelly and poppyseed dressing was served with the chardonnays and for the last starter BBQ smoked duck and fig compote was paired with the cabernet grape variety.

By far the biggest reaction was to the pea panna cotta. The creaminess contrasted beautifully with the high acidity level of the sauvignon.

I don’t remember being asked for a recipe by so many people in such a small space of time, so I thought I would share it with you all.

To find out more about Lawrence’s restaurant Fat Olives, visit or call 01243 377 914.

Pea panna cotta


125g of peas

300ml of double cream

75ml milk

1.5 leaves of gelatine

Salt and pepper


1. Put the gelatine into cold water to soften.

2. Put the milk and cream into a saucepan and bring to the boil.

3. Add the peas to the pan and cook for two minutes on a low simmer.

4. Taste a pea - you want it to be about three-quarters cooked.

5. Add the gelatine and seasoning.

6. Liquidise the mixture for three minutes – the heat will continue to cook the peas.

7. Pass the liquid through a fine sieve.

8. Pour into moulds and allow to set in the fridge for four hours.

9. Remove the panna cotta from the moulds, put on a plate and garnish with pea puree, peas and pea shoots.