Broad Bean, Pancetta & Goat’s Cheese Salad

As much as I used to hate broad beans, I’ve grown to love them. They’re great in summer – raw and crunchy – and warm and lovely in winter. I happen to have a stash of broad beans in the freezer, grown by my father, so this weekend I decided to make a warm winter salad. And I heard that frozen broad beans are in every supermarket!

Ingredients: Serves 2
300 grams broad beans
1 teaspoon Ghee butter
140 grams pancetta, cubed
1 onion, chopped coarsely
half a teaspoon chilli
half a teaspoon dried sage, or 1 teaspoon fresh sage
half a teaspoon cumin seeds
handful of fresh mint
100 grams goat’s cheese, crumbled
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
chopped almonds (optional)
slice of lemon
pepper

Method:

Boil the broad beans in water. I like to keep the skin on, but that’s up to your preference. Broad beans only need a few minutes, so check them after 5 minutes to see if soft. When ready set aside and retain the water.

Melt the Ghee butter, and once it’s melted add the pancetta. Fry for a few minutes until golden brown and set aside on a plate. Retain butter and pancetta fat in pan.

In the same pan you used for the pancetta, fry the onion. Add the chilli and pepper, and fry for a few minutes. Eventually add the water of the broad beans, add the sage and cumin and let them simmer for a few minutes until the onion is tender and the water is reduced, but not entirely.

Mix the broad beans, pancetta, onion mix, mint, goat’s cheese, cherry tomatoes and chopped almonds. Squeeze the lemon and add pepper to taste. Garnish with mint and serve warm… or cold!

For a vegetarian version you can substitute the pancetta with sundried tomatoes.

Author: Marilu Vella