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.
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.