Spring Broad Bean, Asparagus & Sugar Snap Pea Salad

Spring Broad Bean, Asparagus & Sugar Snap Pea Salad

This broad bean and asparagus salad is bursting with springtime goodness. Sweet sugar snap peas, broad beans and asparagus are paired with a creamy garlic ricotta (think a creamy version of tzatziki). It's fresh, crunchy and delicious! Perfect to accompany so many dishes or for a light lunch with some bread.

This salad is the best of spring in one. All of the vegetables are ones that I look forward to in spring. Broad beans have a relatively short season while asparagus lasts for longer. Sugar snap peas are usually available towards the end of winter and the beginning of spring while young or green garlic is a spring item.

Spring Broad Bean, Asparagus & Sugar Snap Pea Salad

How to keep vegetables crunchy: blanch the asparagus and sugar snap peas and then immerse them in ice water. Refreshing your vegetables in ice water stops them cooking and gives keeps them a vibrant green colour.

Speaking of looking forward to things, there was something happening in our block of apartments that I was really looking forward to. One night Mr NQN told me excitedly that a woman had moved in with her senior dog Mary.

Spring Broad Bean, Asparagus & Sugar Snap Pea Salad

Senior dogs are my favourite and Mary also happened to look very much like my beloved Mochi. I desperately wanted to meet her but when I went out to say hello they were both gone and every time Mr NQN told me they were out, by the time I got my act together there was not a trace of them.

One night when we could hear a faint barking. It was Mary on her balcony. Her owner leaves the balcony door open so that Mary can have access inside or out and Mary must have missed her owner or needed something. We didn't want them to get complaints from the other neighbours so we wondered what we could do to ease Mary's anxiety.

Spring Broad Bean, Asparagus & Sugar Snap Pea Salad

Mr NQN grabbed our step ladder and brought it to the front of her balcony. He was tall enough (unfortunately I'm not) to reach little Mary and give her a gentle talking to and a pat through the balcony partition. Mary stopped barking after that. Then the next day I got to meet her properly and she did not disappoint! She was every bit as lovely as Mochi and I like to think we are now friends with Mary.

So tell me Dear Reader, what are you looking forward to? Do you have a favourite spring fruit or vegetable?

Spring Broad Bean, Asparagus & Sugar Snap Pea Salad

Spring Broad Bean, Asparagus & Sugar Snap Pea Salad

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An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

  • 750g/26.5ozs. broad beans (weight before being de-podded)
  • 150g/5ozs. sugar snap peas
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into thirds or quarters
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves spring garlic or garlic (depending on how garlicky you want it)
  • 250g/8.8ozs. ricotta
  • A few sprigs of fresh mint
  • Bread to serve

Spring Broad Bean, Asparagus & Sugar Snap Pea Salad

Step 1 - De-pod the broad beans first. Remove the pods from the sleeve. Then trim the sugar snap peas from the stem. Put a pot of water onto boil and have a large bowl of ice water ready.

Step 2 - Boil the broad beans for 2-3 minutes and then remove from the water using a slotted spoon and place them into one bowl of ice water. Then add the sugar snap peas and asparagus and cook for 2 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon.

Spring Broad Bean, Asparagus & Sugar Snap Pea Salad

Step 3 - De-pod the broad beans of the outer layer. Using a sharp knife cut a small nick at one end and then push them out. Place in a bowl with the drained and now cold asparagus and sugar snap peas and toss in lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 4 - Finely grate the garlic into the ricotta and stir until smooth. Place the vegetables on a serving plate and dollop with the garlic ricotta. Serve with bread and remaining garlic ricotta spread.

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