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Broad Bean and Crispy Pancetta Salad with a Pea, Pecorino and Mint Dressing

Cookbook

Jamie's Kitchen

Published by Michael Joseph/Penguin

This image courtesy of David Loftus

Even though this salad’s really simple and really tasty, it’s also quite a brave dish because it hasn’t got lots of leaves everywhere — just some beautiful ingredients put together with a little common sense. It’s one of those combos that makes the back of your mouth juice up when you think about it. Ideally use young peas and broad beans when they’re in season. If they’re a little older then take the skins off the beans, and if the peas are large it doesn’t really matter as you’ll be mushing them up anyway.

Serves4

CostModerate

Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Courseappetizer, side dish, tapas/small plates

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, peanut free, soy free

Equipmentfood processor, mortar and pestle

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner

Moodadventurous

Taste and Texturecheesy, crisp, herby, light, nutty, salty, savory, tangy, umami

Type of Dishsalad

Ingredients

  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 300g/10 1/2 oz podded broad beans (fava beans)
  • 8 slices of pancetta or smoked streaky bacon
  • 1 handful of whole blanched almonds
  • 150g/5 1/2 oz podded fresh peas
  • 70g/2 1/2 oz Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, or a mixture of both, grated
  • 1 handful of fresh mint, leaves picked
  • 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1-2 lemons
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot to the boil, half-filled with water, but with no salt as this makes broad beans and peas toughen. Add your garlic and allow the water to boil for a couple of minutes before adding the broad beans. Cook for around 3-5 minutes, depending on how young the beans are. Simply taste one to check. If you feel the skins are a little tough, which they can be sometimes, let them cool a little and then you can peel them very quickly by pinching and squeezing the bean out. Throw the skins away, and keep the garlic clove to one side. Place your pancetta on a baking tray, with the almonds spread out next to it. Place in a hot oven at 250°C/475°F/gas 9 — keeping an eye on the almonds to make sure they don’t colour too much. You should be able to crisp up the pancetta at the same time as toasting the almonds, but simply remove one or the other if it is getting too far ahead.

  2. To make the dressing, put your raw podded peas and the soft, boiled garlic clove into a pestle and mortar or a Magimix and bash or blitz until smooth. Add the cheese and most of the mint and stir or pulse to make a smooth paste. You want to turn this into a thick dressing, so add the olive oil and 4–5 tablespoons of lemon juice, to your preference. Season to taste — it should have an amazing flavour of sweet peas, twangy lemon, fragrant mint and a softness and roundness from the cheese. A balance is good, but you should also trust your own personal judgement — I generally like mine to be a bit more lemony, to cut through the smokiness of the pancetta.

  3. Mix the dressing with the broad beans and sprinkle this over 4 plates. Crumble the pancetta over, followed by a sprinkling of the almonds, which can be crushed or bashed up a little. Tear a little mint over the top with a little shaved Parmesan if you like.

  4. Mix the dressing with the broad beans and sprinkle this over 4 plates. Crumble the pancetta over, followed by a sprinkling of the almonds, which can be crushed or bashed up a little. Tear a little mint over the top with a little shaved Parmesan if you like.

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