This is the second of the five salads I made recently. I love the combination of lots of different peas and beans together. All the different shades of pastel green and creamy coloured beans are so pretty, and give a mingling of textures and flavours, very fresh and vibrant.
The broad beans, flageolets and marrowfat peas are soft and creamy while the asparagus and petit pois are naturally sweet with a slight al-dente bite. There is no need to cook the peas in any way; they are blanched before freezing and as they are so small that they soon thaw out. The mint and lemon infused olive oil is all the dressing they need and the two flavours complement the sweet peas and beans perfectly.
If you want to make the salad more substantial, it also tastes delicious with a few small cubes of feta cheese mixed in, but as this was one of many salads on offer, I didn’t think it was necessary this time.
Pea, Bean & Mint Salad
100g frozen petit pois peas
200g flageolet beans, tinned
100g broad beans, tinned
100g Marrowfat peas
6-8 spears of asparagus
2 tbsp fresh mint
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp coarse sea salt
½ lemon, zest
Steam or blanch the asparagus until it is slightly softened but still retains some crunch, about 2-4 minutes depending on size.
Remove the outer shell/skin from the broad beans. Do this by making a tiny slit in the top of the pod where the shell joins together, then squeeze the base of the bean and it should pop out of the skin.
Place the broad beans, frozen peas (no need to defrost, they thaw very quickly), flageolet beans and marrowfat peas into a bowl. Chop the blanched asparagus into 1inch chunks and add to the bowl.
Chop the mint and grind in a pestle and mortar with the sea salt and olive oil to infuse the oil with the mint.
Drizzle the minty oil (and the mint leaves) over the salad and finely grate over the zest of half a lemon. Mix gently, cover and allow to sit for at 2 hours before serving to so the flavours can infuse.
Serves 6 as a side dish