Broad beans can be bought frozen for around £1.50 for a 750g bag – much cheaper than their fresh counterparts, and no prising them from fiddly little pods either – although I do love thumbing the velvety lining of fresh pods to pop them out… Whether you choose fresh or frozen beans, this salad uses a lot of storecupboard basic ingredients, like lemon, garlic, herbs and cheese. It takes just minutes to knock together, and I think it tastes like summer’s coming…
140g broad beans
40g hard strong cheese
50g leaves – I used rocket on special offer, but try spinach, watercress, pea shoots, lambs lettuce, anything fresh and crunchy will do
a fat clove of garlic
1 tbsp oil
Juice of half a lemon
A fistful of mint
Salt and pepper
First bring a pan of water to the boil. Drop in the frozen broad beans for two to three minutes to defrost and slightly soften. Drain them and tip into a bowl, and grate the lemon zest over the top.
Roughly chop and crush the garlic clove, using the flat blade of a chunky sharp knife if you have one, or the back of a spoon and some elbow grease if you haven’t. Scoop the smashed up garlic into a jar, squeeze out the lemon juice, add the oil, screw the lid on, and shake well to make the dressing.
Toss the beans with the salad and whole mint leaves, dress, season with salt and pepper, and top with hard strong cheese to serve.
Tip: For a more substantial salad, and for you omnivores out there, top with crispy bacon to serve.
First published in The Guardian, May 2014. Photograph by Graeme Robertson for The Guardian.
Jack Monroe. Twitter: @MsJackMonroe