Broad Bean Salad – Asian Style
Although the weather is not that promising in England at the moment, summer fruits and vegetables are reaching their prime. Broad beans are at the height of their season, found piled high in baskets and their fresh pods are a soft pale green in colour.
When broad beans are extremely young you can use the entire pod – they are lovely in stews and sautés. But as they mature they are used mainly for their seeds; when cooked, the beans are slightly crunchy but still sweet and succulent. As the summer progresses and the beans mature, their skin toughens, and they become leathery and less sweet.
I picked up a bagful of broad beans from the farmer’s markets nearby. I peeled and steeped them in boiling salted water for a couple of minutes. Once cooked, they look greener and taste much fresher, and they pop from their skins much more easily. I paired them with cooked cauliflower florets, sprinkled some fresh red pepper pieces and chervil on top, then finally dressed it with some Asian-style dressing – the result was stunning! ‘A little goes a long way’ most definitely applies to broad beans!
BROAD BEAN SALAD – ASIAN STYLE
- 1/2 small cauliflower cut into florets
- 200 g broad beans peeled and cooked
- 1/2 small red pepper cut into pieces
- Herbs (Chervil, chives, parsley or spring onion)
Asian salad dressing
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon crushed sesame seeds
- Salt and pepper
- Boil a small cauliflower, cut into small florets, in a big saucepan of boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes. Drain the cauliflower and pile in a serving bowl.
- In the same saucepan of boiling water, boil the broad beans for 2-3 minutes, and drain and steep in ice water for a minute. Next, drain it again and peel off the outer covers, keeping the green pods.
- Make the salad dressing by whisking together all the ingredients in a small bowl until combined.
- Pile the cooked cauliflower in a serving bowl, along with the boiled and peeled broad beans and red pepper. Sprinkle whichever herb you have in stock on top – I used chervil because it was at hand, but you can use chives, parsley or spring onion instead. When you are ready to serve, pour salad dressing over the salad and mix well.