Broad Beans, Bacon, Asparagus & Spring Onions with Herb Vinaigrette

I know, I know, it’s another recipe using asparagus. I was going to save it until next year but I’ve decided that it tastes too damn good for that. This is one of those dishes that has me stuffing my face uncontrollably – only when I finish my second third helping do I realise I am over-full. The broad beans I laid my hands on were perfect and young, so most needed only an initial podding, the outer skins were so soft and edible. I still take some pleasure though, from squeezing the cooked beans from their wrinkled jackets and watching the almost fluorescent green buttons pop through.

This is the kind of salad I like to lay out at a barbecue, it looks so summery and smells so fragrant. I demand that, as you stir the vinaigrette, onions and herbs through the hot beans and bacon, you put your face close to the bowl and take a deep breath, the reward will be a momentary intoxication. Imagine this, the freshness of the beans and asparagus, crispy, salty bacon, punchy spring onions, all glistening and flecked shades of green with herby vinaigrette. You could use just about any mixture of soft herbs for this salad – I used parsley, chives, mint and dill.



Broad Beans, Bacon, Asparagus & Spring Onions with Herb Vinaigrette

900g broad beans (unpodded weight)
10 asparagus spears
4 rashers smoked bacon or pancetta
4 spring onions, finely shredded
A small handful each of 3 or 4 herbs of your choice. I used dill, parsley, mint and chives – roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 heaped teaspoon wholegrain mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or other wine vinegar or lemon juice)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper

– Pod the beans and trim the asparagus by bending each spear until it snaps and discarding the woody end (not the tips). Wash thoroughly.
– Simmer the asparagus and beans for 3-5 minutes, depending on size, until just tender (I cooked my asparagus and beans separately).
– Grill the bacon or pancetta until crisp and chop into bite size pieces.
– When the vegetables are ready, remove the tough outer skins from any larger broad beans and add to a serving bowl with the asparagus and bacon/pancetta.
– To make the vinaigrette, crush the garlic in a pestle and mortar with some sea salt. Add the mustard and some black pepper and stir in. Add the vinegar and then the oil, whisking to emulsify.
– Add the onions and herbs to the bowl, pour in the desired amount of vinaigrette (I used the lot) and stir to combine. Serve immediately – although it is also delicious cold.

This is an entry for Joelen’s Blogging Adventure: Salad Spinnin’ hosted by Joelen’s Culinary Adventures.

Category: Blogging Events, Gluten-free, Main Dishes, Meat, Salads, Side Dishes, Starters, Vegetables 17 comments »

17 Responses to “Broad Beans, Bacon, Asparagus & Spring Onions with Herb Vinaigrette”

  1. kathryn

    Beautiful, beautiful salad Helen. I can so imagine eating this (minus the bacon). But we’re well away from asparagus season. Had a photo shoot on Friday, for one of the magazines I contribute recipes to. We were shooting mangoes and a chicken dish with asparagus – despite the fact it’s early winter here. The only asparagus currently available is flown all the way from South America – which is lots and lots of food miles from Sydney. Photos look great, but the taste – an asparagus travesty!

  2. Fearless Kitchen

    Mmm…Asparagus… you’re right, this would be the perfect thing to serve at a barbeque!

  3. Peter G

    That looks so good Helen! Honestly, you do make some of the best salads I’ve seen on the net recently! The bacon and vinaigrette combined with the broad beans and asparagus is hard to beat. Hope you’re enjoying the summer…

  4. manju

    Helen, you REALLY have a wonderful way with veg! I tried your technique of using a parer on asparagus when I used it in pasta, and it was great. It brought out flavors you don’t get from just chunking the stalks.

    Those rolls w/crab and mango in the last post look absolutely divine, too.

    Your great camera work is why I’m tagging you for the “10” project — to compile in a single post your 10 favorite food pictures from your site. This was started by Anna’s Kitchen Table in April.

    Happy summer cooking, bees and all!

  5. Peter

    Great salad, bacon makes the men ever happy…I”d be sated with this as a lunch.

    How did the ladybug taste? lol

  6. farida

    Such a beautiful summery salad! I love the combination of ingredients, and the color too. Must taste delicious!

  7. Kevin

    That salad looks fresh and summery and tasty!

  8. Vanilla

    Don’t worry about all the asparagus recipes! The more you publish, the more ideas you get!
    This one looks fabulous! I have a few broad beans in my crisper and I will probably give a try to your recipe.

  9. aforkfulofspaghetti

    Just about my favourite summer meal – sometimes with pasta, sometimes without. The vegetables are just SO good at this time of year… Beautiful!

  10. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    Beautiful salad! I love asparagus and savor every moment of the all-too-fleeting asparagus season.

  11. JennDZ_The LeftoverQueen

    That looks delicious Helen – I love the combination of flavors here and I love the picture of the bee – what a great shot! Congrats with finishing up exams and I am looking forward to more food stories! :)

  12. Jude

    Mmm. Bacon and asparagus. I can also see myself getting my face stuffed uncontrollably with this dish.

  13. joey

    This salad looks absolutely delicious! And with bacon I am sold! :)

    I know what you mean…I have been using asparagus more than usual and fear my husband may grow tired of it. But I certainly won’t so if you want to post more asparagus dishes please do! :)

  14. Rosemary

    I have only had broad beans once, and I over cooked them and they tasted horrible. Yours look so good, I had to remind myself it was only a picture. Will definitely try this salad at our next summer braai (BBQ).

  15. David Hall

    Just one word Wendy, and quite a long word at that – drooooooooooooooooooooooooollllllllllllll!!!!!!



  16. edwin devey

    I’ve been told that if the joint (of bean and shoot) on a broad bean is black, you must eat them. Is this correct do you know? What is it and why shouldn’t you eat them?

  17. Helen

    Hi Edwin, I have not heard of this before, although of course that doesn’t mean it’s not true. A quick google didn’t reveal anything either. I have heard that you should discard any with holes as there is a type of beetle that likes to burrow in. I think most people would discard a vegetable with holes in anyway so…

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