Spring Green Salad with Peas and Broad Beans

This Spring Green Salad with Peas and Broad Beans not only looks like Spring, it also has the aroma, flavours and crispness of a Spring morning. It’s a light, fresh, tasty salad that goes perfectly with fish, chicken or meat.

The hero of this salad for me, are the homegrown broad beans that I lovingIy planted and nurtured for weeks and weeks. I love the slightly sweet, slightly bitter and a little buttery taste of broad beans and the wonderful bright green colour they add to a dish. To me they taste of Spring!

I planted a few broad bean seedings in my vegetable garden this year not really expecting to yield anything significant. For weeks I watered and cared for the tiny seedings hoping they would grow to produce broad beans, rather then get eaten by snails or possums , which is what often happens to new seedlings I plant.

Well, to my joy and amazement, I watched my seedlings grow into very tall plants with lots of little white flowers that I hoped would turn into beans. I kept checking every day for weeks, but nothing seemed to happen. Just when I started to lose hope, I noticed some tiny pods appearing. These eventually multiplied and grew into the delicious tender broad beans I was hoping for. The best part of growing my own vegetables, is the pleasure I get from watching my little grandsons’ curiosity and desire to get involved in the garden.

There are so many ways to enjoy broad beans. Not only can you eat the beans, but if you pick them young enough, you can also cook and eat the pods.

When I have fresh seasonal ingredients to use, I prefer to keep it really simple (and easy 🙂 ) and let their flavours speak for themselves, just like this Spring Green Salad with peas and broad beans.

What you need

  • 1 cup shelled broad beans (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ cup shelled peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 bunch broccolini (washed)
  • 1 medium Cos lettuce (discard any tough or damaged outer leaves, throughly wash and roughly chop the remainder)
  • 2 spring onions (trimmed, washed and finely chopped)
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber (washed and slice unpeeled)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint (roughly chopped)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt (to taste)

What to do

Place the broad beans in a pot of boiling water and simmer for 2 minutes, then drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.

If beans are large, their outer skin can be bitter and leathery. Simply squeeze gently to pop the bright green tender beans out from their outer skin. Put aside.

Place the peas in a second pot of boiling water and simmer for 2 minutes – run under colder water, drain, then put aside.

Blanche the broccolini in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes, or until just tender. Run under cold water and drain.

Place all the vegetables and mint in a bowl and mix to combine.

Whisk the lemon and oil together, then drizzle over the salad.

Season with salt, mix through and serve immediately.