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 (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
– 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.