25 October 2010

Broad Bean Salad with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

For me my broad beans being ready to eat heralds Spring is well and truly hear.  I love those bright green sweet little beans that are young, fresh and tender broad beans. If picking them young they don't need any cooking of peeling, they are perfect just as they are. Italians are big fans of very fresh, very young, very tender broad beans raw served simply with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and a few shavings of Pecorino or Parmesan - as always they do simple so well and just let the fresh flavours speak for themselves.  If using older or frozen broad beans they are bit of work but so worth all the podding, cooking and peeling to savour these little green gems.

This tasty salad ticks the boxes on a number of fronts.  First and foremost it is delicious and another something a little different to add to your salad repertoire.  As an added bonus the broad beans are full of protein and fibre and that's not all, then there is a whole lot of antioxidants from the corn, cucumber, garlic and parsley.  It was also a great way to savour some fresh broad beans straight out of the garden. The roasted garlic adds a lovely nutty sweetness that only roasted garlic can.

Clara also loves the vegetable patch.

Broad Beans Like: pasta, rice and egg dishes, salad greens, salty hard Italian cheeses, cream, butter, ham, bacon, salmon, prawns, crab, carrots, peas, artichoke, asparagus, saffron, mushrooms and olives.  Also great pureed or mashed.

Broad Bean Salad with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette - tweaked a little from wholeliving.com

Serves 4

For the vinaigrette
1 head garlic, 1/2 inch cut off top to reveal cloves
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
3/4 cup (2 ounces) walnuts, toasted and chopped
Freshly ground pepper, to taste 

For the salad
1lb, 500g shucked fresh broad beans (from 3lb, 1.5kg pods; 3 1/2 cups)
2 cups fresh corn kernels (or frozen work well too)
1 medium cucumber, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Make the vinaigrette. 
Preheat oven to 190°C
Drizzle garlic with 1 teaspoon oil. Wrap in parchment, then in foil. Bake until soft, about 30 minutes. Squeeze garlic from skins. Mash until smooth. Whisk together the remaining ingredients with 1 tablespoon of the roasted garlic and remaining 2 teaspoons oil.  
Make the salad: Prepare an ice-water bath. Cook the broad beans in a large pot of boiling water for 2 minutes if using older or frozen beans. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broad beans to an ice-water bath to stop them cooking further. Let them cool completely and remove them with the slotted spoon. Cook the corn in the same pot for 1 minute, and drain. Peel the thin shells off the broad beans. Toss the broad beans with the corn, cucumber, onion, parsley and the vinaigrette.

Perfect as a side with some grilled chicken or fish and as per the original recipe a little crumbed feta would be a welcome addition.


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