OK, I understand
Let me start by saying, I am not usually a fan of frozen vegetables. There is one exception though – broad beans. When broad beans are not in season, I find these so handy to have in the freezer, and they are one of the few veg that don’t seem to lose too much flavour or texture when frozen. A bag of broadbeans in the freezer has often gotten me out of a midweek meal crisis!
This salad really relies on perfectly cooked ingredients. The green beans and snowpeas must be cooked ever so briefly, to ensure they retain their crunch. I often cook these at the very end and throw them in whilst they’re still warm.
This fresh, lemony green dish is the perfect accompaniment to juicy lamb cutlets, or a piece of grilled white fish.
1 500g packet of frozen broad beans
1 handful of fresh snowpeas
1 handful of fresh green beans
1 handful of pine nuts, dry toasted lightly in a frypan (careful not to burn!)
1 bulb of fennel, finely sliced (ideally using a mandolin)
1 handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon chopped preserved lemon rind
100g greek feta (you can’t beat Dodoni it is so tasty!)
3 tablespoons fruity virgin olive oil
Juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil a pot of water. Once boiling, add your broad beans and cook for around 5 minutes – take one out to test. Drain immediately and rinse under running cold water to stop them cooking. Set aside to cool.
Now slice your fennel. Fennel really must be sliced so finely – when it’s too thick it just doesn’t taste the same. This is why using a mandolin is really the best option, if you have one. (Use the guard, watch your fingers!)
Chop your parsley roughly. Toast your pine nuts in a hot, dry frypan – keep your eye on them, they burn easily. Rinse your preserved lemon pieces, scoop out the flesh and chop the rind finely.
Now prepare your long beans and snowpeas. Slice off each end of your beans. Snap the end off each snowpea by hand and de-string them.
By now hopefully your broad beans are somewhat cooled. You want to de-shell them, which is best done by hand. Rip the skin open with your fingernail, and squeeze out the deep green bean inside. Shell all but the tiniest beans (which can go in whole), transferring to a large mixing bowl as you go.
Add sliced fennel, parsley, pine nuts and preserved lemon to the shelled broad beans.
Bring a small pot of water to the boil. First up, cook your green beans. They need about 3 minutes max. Keep your eye on them, test one as soon as they have turned bright green. When done, pull them out of the water with tongs – you want to retain the boiling water for your snowpeas.
Now add your snowpeas to the boiling water. They take literally 10 seconds! Be very careful not to overcook. No one likes a soft snowpea. Have your colander ready in the sink, and drain as soon as they turn bright green.
NOW it’s up to you whether you add the snowpeas and green beans warm or cold to the salad. Either way is yum. Simply combine ingredients, sprinkle with crumbled feta, and slosh the olive oil and lemon in generously, adjusting according to your taste. Mix well, season with salt and pepper.