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Ever wondered how a tiny café in a community centre (519 Church, at Dundonald, 416-355-6781, fabarnak.com) manages to turn out a constantly evolving four-course tasting menu for only 15 bucks? Simple - chef Jason Becker and team cater for a number of government agencies as well. Here's one of their most popular hors d'oeuvres.
To make 24 crostini, you need
2 cups edamame, shelled
1 tbsp shallots, diced
5 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp truffle oil
2 tbsp pecorino cheese, grated with a vegetable peeler into long strands
Salt and pepper to taste
1 baguette, cut into 1-inch slices and toasted (For a gluten-free version, substitute leaves of endive for bread)
Blanch edamame in salted boiling water for 5 minutes or until bright green in colour. Immediately transfer to a bowl filled with cold water and ice. Cool and drain.
Put 2 tbsp each of water and olive oil in a blender or food processor. Add chilled edamame and the rest of the ingredients and purée till smooth. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, pepper, lemon or truffle oil if desired. Dollop edamame purée on baguette slices. Garnish with cheese.