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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

October 15, 2008: Green-on-green salad, kicked up with potatoes

It's well and truly time that we got salads back on the menu. First, we revisited the green and gorgeous spring salad, and it was as green and gorgeous as ever. Since Jules did so well with that recipe, I dug through her archives for more inspiration and found this one for broad bean and baby spinach salad with minted pea dressing. Not only does it do those much-needed greens three ways (fresh baby spinach, boiled broad beans, mashed pea dressing), it also takes advantage of this brief bean season we're in. Michael wielded his TasteMaker once again, and we were rewarded with a fresh main meal, tangy with lemon and alternating tender and crunchy. While the asparagus and avocado in the green and gorgeous salad are best gobbled up quickly, the leftovers of this green-on-green salad were still most appetising at lunchtime the next day.

The greens were always intended to take centre stage, but I also baked a few potato wedges on the side. For the seasoning, I tried Chef Erik's Kicked Up Texas mix. It had a nice, slow burn but perhaps a little more sugar than we needed. It was a great change from my salt/pepper/olive oil routine, anyway.

Green-on-green salad

1kg broad beans, podded to yield ~400g
500g peas, shelled to yield ~150g
1 bunch mint, leaves picked
1/2 clove garlic
juice & zest of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons good quality olive oil
4 handfuls baby spinach

Fill a saucepan with hot water and a pinch of salt, and bring it to the boil. Put the peas into a strainer and lower the strainer into the water so that the peas are immersed - cook them like that for a minute, and then take 'em out and douse 'em in cold water. Do the same for the broad beans, but cook them for about 4 minutes instead. The broad beans will need to be skinned a second time when they're cool enough to handle.

Next, get your mortar and pestle (or TasteMaker!) out to prepare the dressing. Roughly smash together 2/3 of the mint, 2/3 of the peas, the garlic and lemon zest with a pinch of salt. Stir in the lemon juice and oil, taste, and adjust the seasoning to your preference.

Time to assemble the salad! You could just toss it all together but it's also nice to layer it up, starting off with the spinach and beans then working up to peas, mint and dressing.

I'd like to submit the green-on-green salad to My Legume Love Affair, the fourth helping. Originally conceived by Susan, the Well-Seasoned Cook, it's being hosted by Sra of When My Soup Came Alive this month.


  1. two wonderful green salads - ahh looks like spring! Am loving the asparagus at the moment but not quite come round to the broad beans - though I have some in fridge - potatoes look wonderful too

  2. I'm totally inspired by this post. I too have had salads on the brain but i'm looking for new ideas to try, so this post is wonderfully timely. Also, I just discovered some potatoes in the fridge that need rescuing, so this could well be a perfect weekend meal. thank you!

  3. Yum, both the salad and the roasty potatoes are making me hungry for lunch (and it's not even 10 am).

  4. I'm so sad I checked your blog while I was at work! No pictures for me. But it sounds yum in any case.

    Have you ever had roasted broad beans? With a very light smattering of salt they're an incredibly addictive snack.

  5. Thanks, Johanna! I found that a few of our broad beans were a bit floury and flavourless, and suspect that overcooking may have been the cause. Otherwise, I think they benefit from something acidic to lift the flavour - lemon juice is my favourite, but mustard or vinegar-based dressings can work too!

    You're welcome, Frances! I hope we'll see a few spring salads popping up on your blog. :-)

    Theresa, reading food blogs causes endless temptation, doesn't it? :-)

    Maffy, I've not tried roasted broad beans! They sound great - something to steer me away from potato chips, perhaps. :-)

  6. I wish it was Spring here too. Sadly we're fast approaching winter. Salad looks so tempting!

  7. Mallika, I think food blogs have many of us craving season-inappropriate foods! I've been seeing lots of delish pumpkin recipes from Americans lately. :-)

  8. I find the idea of the pea dressing very novel - the only other thing I can think of is a green/red pepper sauce I made once to coat pasta! Where I live, it's tea time now and your pix have me craving a full meal! Thanks for the entry, Cindy!

  9. came here throough's Sra's legume love affair. This is a very tempting recipe! The dressing is surely very innovative - the key to a good salad, isn't it?

  10. You're welcome, Sra! I once made a red pepper pasta sauce that must have been similar to yours - it was delicious. :-)

    Welcome, PG! I likewise find that an interesting dressing can really make a salad. :-)