Broad bean bonanza – a spring salad

With yet more broad beans to use up, I spied this delicious sounding recipe for a Broad Bean and Orzo
Salad. Yum!

I served the salad with salmon, baked with a crust of the remaining pesto left over from the salad.

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Just a quick note regarding the salad – I made my own basil pesto to use for the salad dressing (pesto, olive oil and lemon juice) because I just happened to have the ingredients to hand. I whizzed the pesto ingredients up in my blender which has been well-loved over the years (and in all honesty has probably seen better days) and doesn’t particularly like whizzing things to a ‘fine’ anything… but as I often find with cooking, this was rather serendipitous. The chunky, nutty texture of the ‘pesto’, once stirred through the salad, meant that another layer was added to the mix of flavours and textures in the salad, and it really worked well.

I even had a bit of the salad left over that I had for my lunch the next day, and it had kept surprisingly well (hadn’t turned limp and soggy as most salads do after a night in the fridge). I will be making this again, and using a chunky nutty pesto will be a must!

Broad bean bonanza series – Bean, mint and ricotta ravioli

The broad beans in our garden have been taking over lately, so in an effort to use them up, eat seasonally, and try a few new recipes, I am starting Broad Bean Bonanza… a series of bean recipes that will continue until we run out of beans!

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Broad beans taking over from the broccoli and weeds!

 

My husband harvested the beans that were ready to eat, but there are still quite a few small ones left to keep growing.

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A bucket load of beans

Looking at the quantity ┬áhe had picked I was a bit reluctant to start shelling them thinking it would take absolutely ages, but once you get into a rhythm it’s really quite therapeutic!

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And the result… a whole bowl full ready for eating.

The beautiful sweet little beans look like jewels, they are almost too pretty to eat… I said ALMOST. When they are young and straight from the pod they don’t need to have the outside casing removed, they are full of flavour and crunch – I don’t blanch them either.

I crushed them with mint, ricotta, olive oil, salt and pepper to make a ravioli filling. Delicious!

Fresh pasta rolled out and ready for filling
Fresh pasta rolled out and ready for filling

And the end result… SO good! It was worth all the time and effort spent growing, weeding, watering, harvesting, shelling, and cooking.

Eating time!
Eating time!

The ravioli doesn’t need any sauce – you want to taste the filling. I served it drizzled with olive oil, and topped with parmesan, mint and pepper.