Summer Broad Bean Salad

A rich, sweet, textured combination of summer broad beans and herbs

Our broad beans produced a bumper crop this year. That’s fine with me because I love fresh broad beans and have a million different ways to eat them. I love their smooth, rich, sweet flavour.

This simple dish is one of our summer favourites. It has a lovely combination of textures and fresh tastes, but is so easy to put together. Don’t skimp on the fresh herbs! They really lift the dish. At this time of the year, if you have leftover Christmas ham you can use it in place of the bacon, diced into pieces and gently fried. However, don’t use too much as the fresh broad beans are the real star of this dish.

  • 2 cups of podded broad beans
  • 2 rashers of bacon
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
  • ½ cup of marjoram and oregano leaves (or other fresh herbs like mint or basil)
  • Black pepper
  • Good extra virgin olive oil

Grill the bacon until crispy. Let it cool slightly and then cut it into small pieces. Roughly dice the fresh herbs. Boil the broad beans until they are just tender. Cool them slightly so that you can handle them by running them under cold water. Peel the skin from the beans and put the sweet, green bean into a serving bowl. Although you can leave the skins on, I find that you get a much sweeter, more delicate flavour by removing them (the skins are also adored by our chickens and pigs!).

Toss the beans in the lemon zest and add the herbs and bacon and mix together. Pour about ¼ cup of good extra virgin olive oil on to the mix and stir together. The beans should glisten with oil. You may need more to ensure all the beans get a good covering. Sprinkle on the parmesan cheese and a few grinds of black pepper and serve. You can make this a more substantial dish by adding a few eggs that have been boiled just short of hard so that there is a little soft yolk left. Quarter them and mix throughout .



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