Upon the excellent news that my other half has a fantastic new job, I decided that a celebratory meal was in order!, I flipped through my cookbook collection for a bit of inspiration. I am not normally very good at trying new recipes during the week as I like to spend my time and not feel rushed however, last week I was off work so it seemed like the perfect opportunity.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a Jamie Oliver fan! Surprisingly perhaps, I don’t have all of his cookbooks however, I had recently “borrowed” ‘Jamie’s Kitchen’ from my Mom and was dying to try out some of the recipes. Jamie’s broad bean and crispy pancetta salad with a pea, pecorino and mint dressing caught my eye and I couldn’t resist giving it a go.
Broad bean and crispy pancetta salad with a pea, pecorino and mint dressing
1 clove of garlic, peeled and left whole
300g podded broad beans
8 slices of pancetta
1 handful of blanched almonds
150g podded fresh peas
70g pecorino cheese
Handful fresh mint
8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1-2 lemons
Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the garlic clove and allow to boil for a few minutes before adding the broad beans. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the beans are soft.
- Allow the beans to cool for a moment before peeling and squeezing the beans out of the pods.
- Place the pancetta on a baking tray, with the almonds spread out next to it. Place in the oven and allow the pancetta to crisp up and the almonds to colour slightly. Remove from the oven when cooked.
- To make the dressing, put the raw peas and your soft garlic in a food processor, blitz until smooth. Add the cheese and most of the mint and pulse until smooth. Add the olive oil and 4-5 tbsp lemon juice to taste. Season.
- To serve, mix the dressing with the broad beans and sprinkle over the plates. Crumble the pancetta over followed by the almonds. Tear a little mint over the top and a little shaved cheese.
As always, I made a few substitutions! We didn’t have pancetta so I used smoked bacon (with the fat removed!). Mr MAC is not a fan of nuts so I omitted the almonds. I also used frozen peas instead of fresh and parmesan instead of pecorino.
The salad was fantastic and it will definitely be a dish I will be creating again! The flavours were really fresh and it is a perfect dish for the summer. I served the salad with an oven roasted fillet of sea bass and some crushed new potatoes with chives. It was a really lovely meal to celebrate Mr MAC’s success!