Saturday, 9 June 2012

Brilliant Bean and Pea Salad

I'm lucky enough to have just returned from a trip to Paris, bringing with me some fabulous saucisson sec.

Saucisson sec.

I'm happy enough to eat this on its own, but I am also more than happy to get in every meal possible! To soothe a guilty conscience resulting from a few days of gluttony,  a handful of locally grown broad beans and some wonderfully green peas seemed to be a good idea. This recipe is  for a great fresh salad  that is great with roasted and grilled meats (especially so if you are lucky enough with the weather to be able to get he BBQ out), but is also great on its own with fresh bread for a summer lunch.

The quantities in the below recipe makes enough for two as a side dish.

150g  podded broad beans (If you buy them in pods I find that 500g of pods gives approximately 150g of beans). Feel free to use frozen if not in season.
175g peas (I used frozen on this occasion).
Approximately 60g saucisson sec (or any decent air dried ham or salami) cubed or cut in to small strips.
1 small garlic clove
Olive oil
A light flavoured vinegar (cider or white wine vinegar - on this occasion I actually used the vinegar from my caper jar).
Salt and pepper.

Podded broad beans.

Pod the broad beans if necessary (keep the pods for stock) and then cook on a rolling boil for 3 minutes (please use unsalted water, or you'll toughen the beans). Cool quickly under cold running water, or in a bowl of ice water.

Cook the peas in the same way for 3 minutes, cool as with the beans.

Peel the skins off the cooked broad beans - you should find that they pop out of the skins easily

Cooked and peeled broad beans.

Combine the peas and beans in a bowl and add the chopped saucisson sec (or ham).

Finely chop and add the garlic. If like me, your knife skills are a little lacking, you may wish to crush it instead, no one wants big chunks of raw garlic.

Broad beans, saucisson and garlic.
Drizzle over a small amount of olive oil over the bean mixture. You want just enough to coat the mixture, you don't want it to be swimming in oil.

Add a teaspoon of your chosen vinegar, give it all a good stir and then give it a taste. You may at this point wish to add more vinegar depending on your taste. You also may wish to add some salt, but this will depend on how salty your saucisson or ham is. You might find that you don't need any at all. I think this dish benefits greatly from a good grind or pepper, but as always, you will want to do this to taste.

Brilliant bean and pea salad.

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