Broad Bean Salad with Pancetta

Broad Bean Salad

I was very excited to find some young broad beans in the veg box this week. Year after year, there is only one recipe that I absolutely have to make straight away. It’s not my recipe though, it’s actually Delia’s.

I found when I opened the broad bean pods that I had a variety of sizes so I added the large ones first before adding the medium and then small to ensure even cooking. I threw in some bright green soy beans, some extra herbs and substituted sherry vinegar for cider vinegar as I had it to hand. There is actually an earlier version of this recipe in one of her books which is less glamorous with bacon and white wine or some lesser vinegar. No matter what minor tweaks I make, this always screams spring to me as it is so fresh and the flavours are really punchy. Something to mark a change of direction away from constant eating of root vegetables throughout winter.

Broad Beans


Broad (and soy) Bean Salad
Adapted from Delia Smith’s ‘How to Cook Book 2′

250g broad beans (shelled weight)
250g soy beans (I used frozen….)
A very large handful of mixed herbs, finely chopped. I used basil, flat leaf parsley, mint and chives.
3 fat slices of pancetta
2 shallots, finely chopped
salt and pepper

For the dressing

1 large clove of garlic
A generous pinch of sea salt
2 level teaspoons mustard powder
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Black pepper

– Grill the pancetta until really crisp and then cut into bite size pieces.
– Plunge the broad beans into boiling, salted water and, when it comes back to the boil, reduce the heat and cook for 2 minutes or so before adding the soy beans to the same pan for around 3 minutes more (I used soy beans that cook straight from the freezer, which is not the same thing as using frozen mashed potato Delia!). When they are just tender drain and set aside in a serving bowl.
– For the dressing, Crush the garlic with the salt in a pestle and mortar, then add the mustard powder and mix. Add the cider vinegar and a good grind of black pepper (around 1/2 teaspoon) and mix in again (I like to switch to a mini whisk at this point). Finally, add the olive oil and whisk again to emulsify.
– Add the chopped shallots and crispy pancetta bits to the beans and then pour the dressing over while they are still warm. Finally add the herbs and mix again. Delicious hot and cold.

Category: Gluten-free, Lunchbox, Meat, Salads, Side Dishes, Vegetables 9 comments »

9 Responses to “Broad Bean Salad with Pancetta”

  1. Wendy

    What a happy looking dish. :) It sounds absolutely delightful.

  2. Kalyn

    I’m surprised to see such a difference in the size of the beans. I’ve never cooked fresh fava beans, but they’re something I’ve been wanting to try for ages. This sounds just wonderfully delicious.

  3. Jessica

    Wow that looks great! So colorful!

  4. Helen

    Wendy – It does look happy doesn’t it? I needed something to cheer me up after the long winter months of darkness!
    Kalyn – I was too. This has never happened to me before and I think it it because they are young beans. Later in the season, they tend to be bigger and the tough outer skins need removing.

  5. Bea

    What an appetizing spring dish. Makes me crave for greens even more.

  6. Spring Cleaning Lunch « A Wee Bit of Cooking

    […] rather good.  The idea comes from Helen at Food Stories.  A few weeks ago she blogged about an Edamame and Broadbean Salad with Panchetta.  It looked so very pretty and sounded so very delicious I knew I’d be making it soon.  And […]

  7. Ms Alex

    That dish looks gorgeous, must go to the Farmers Market this weekend and hunt me some broad beans. :)

    As for Delia though I agree she seems to have lost her way. The frozen mashed potato is used in a bizarre take on chocolate cupcakes which is just very odd, very carb-overloaded and very wrong… for a discussion of what it tastes like.

  8. Ms Alex

    Eep, correct address is,,2265292,00.html

  9. White On Rice Couple

    We’ll definitely consider making this dish for our upcoming party! Although we’ll be having vegetarians and will have to omit the pancetta, the beans alone will be marvelous!

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