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


  1. Hi Jack, the salad sounds wonderful, I shall give it a go when the broad beans come on line! I’ve just read your post about growing veg, broad beans are fantastically easy to grow (it’s a bit late to plant them for this year), they produce a good crop for little financial outlay. Consequently we end up with a freezer full! I use them in bean salads too but I like them skinned, a bit of a fiddle but well worth it. Petra

  2. i am very angry that you have become part of the politacal establisment on the bbc now jack ,very angry indeed,what happened to your true principles.

  3. Thanks Jack, love my broad beans and can rely on you to keep me going with new ideas on how to ring the changes with all my home grown produce.
    You were great on QT by the way a breath of fresh air xx

  4. Just do your thing jack. Lovely recipe, thank you. Good gracious; some people. They need to get a life (like you did, clearly) !!

  5. If you do get fresh broad beans, apparently you can use the pods to make soup – I’ve never tried this myself though, as I usually buy them frozen.

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