Broad bean, mint and lemon salad
This fresh-tasting salad is best when broad beans are in season during the summer. Frozen beans are a good substitute to introduce a fresh taste at meal time. The mint enhances the freshness of the beans, and the saltiness of the pancetta balances all the flavours for a well-rounded starter. Serving four, this dish takes just 20 minutes to prepare and cook.
Ingredients8 thin slices pancetta
350g freshly shelled or frozen broad beans
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Juice and grated zest of ½ lemon
Sea salt and milled black pepper
1 large handful fresh mint, chopped
4 slices sourdough bread
- Pre-heat the grill to high.
- Lay the pancetta on a rack inside the grill tray. Grill for 4-5 minutes, until lightly golden and crisp. Put to one side to cool.
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the beans and cook for 2-3 minutes if they’re fresh, or 4 minutes if they’re frozen – they should be just tender.
- Drain the beans well, refresh them in cold water, and drain again.
- To make the dressing, crush half the garlic clove. Place it in a small bowl, and whisk together with the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and zest, a pinch of salt and plenty of pepper.
- To serve, drizzle the dressing over the beans, add the mint, and gently toss together. Toast the sourdough slices, then rub the remaining garlic over them and drizzle with a little oil. Place one slice of bread on each of 4 serving plates and pile the beans on top. Add 2 pancetta slices to each one, and serve immediately.