Broad Bean, Pea, Feta and Bacon Salad with a citrus and mint dressing

Broad bean and peaI do worry about what I will be a like if I ever become a mother. The other day I was harking back to when I was charged with looking after my two nieces, Rosie aged 4 and Bella aged 2.  I have a rather Gung Ho approach to looking after them, convinced that lots of exercise, no matter the weather, is good for the soul. Not to be deterred by the pouring rain and blustery weather conditions, my mother and I wrapped them up, and plonked them in the car to take them to Battersea Park. Armed with mountains of coins we headed to the car park only to realise that in this glorious modern age, coins are not accepted. Of course we had no credit cards with us so we exited the park and finally found a spot miles from the park. Nevertheless, we set off with Bella in the pram and Rosie walking beside us. Despite Rosie having promised us that her ‘walking legs were on,’ within 10 seconds the ‘batteries had died and needed a rest.’  After much cajoling and ‘recharging of batteries,’ we finally made it to the park for a very brief perambulation. As we returned to the car my mother and I then had the task of collapsing the pram. Well, the thing was like a blooming rubix cube! No matter which button we pressed the thing would not fold up. We even resorting to asking three blokes who were walking past. Initially they approached it with the attitude of ‘oh silly women folk, of course we can collapse this piece of plastic.’ Well they couldn’t, and the 5 of us stood around it, occasionally kicking it in the hope that it would just automatically fold. We never managed to figure it out, resulting to me having to walk back with an empty pram in the pouring rain whilst my mother drove the girls back.

That night as we put Rosie to bed she was hugely apologetic about the battery levels of her legs. But, Rosie, aged 4 going on 45, sighed, looked us dead in the eye and said in a mothering tone ‘next time though, don’t forget the scooter.’ Received and understood, thanks Rosie….

Ingredients (Serves 2 hearty dishes as a main course or 4 packed lunches):

  • 350g Broad Beans (frozen or fresh)close up
  • 350g Peas
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 8 Rashers of smoked bacon, cut into small chunks.
  • 100g Feta
  • Zest of a lemon
  • Handful of mint, roughly chopped
  • Ciabatta loaf
  • Good olive oil or rapeseed oil

 

Method:

  1. Cook the broad beans. Drain and rinse under cold water to keep their colour. Peel off the outer skins of the broad beans. Admittedly, this is a rather laborious job, but it is so much tastier without the chewier outside. If bored, this is a perfect task for a child/husband. Pour into a large salad bowl.
  2. Cook the peas. Drain and rinse under cold water. Add to the broad beans.
  3. In a frying pan add 1/2 tbsp of olive or rapeseed oil and add the garlic. Cook for a minute or so, without letting it brown. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Once cooked, use a slotted spoon and remove the bacon onto a plate with kitchen roll to absorb excess fat.
  4. Add the bacon to the broad bean and pea salad. Crumble the feta over the top. Add the lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice, mint and a good glug of the olive oil. Season with pepper (there is plenty of salt with the feta and bacon). Mix well.
  5. For optional decadence, cut the ciabatta into thick slices and add to the bacon pan. Cook on a medium heat until the bread is well toasted and has absorbed the bacon and garlic flavours.  Eat immediately.

Directions for use: Yes, the bread is not the healthiest of accompaniments, but trust me it’s delicious……

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