Broad beans and peas salad with basil dressing

Broad beans and snow peas salad

Broad beans take a pretty long time to arrive – they are just about the first vegetable I sow outside (this year it was as early as the end of February) but it takes until June before we can harvest the first pods. This year I’m growing the variety “Jubilee Hysor” and I like it, but then, I have never grown a broad bean I did not like. I tend to pick the pods smaller than they are when you buy them because the smaller beans are a lot sweeter – one of the small luxuries available to gardeners.

yellow podded snow peas "Golden Sweet"
The yellow podded snow peas are already taller than me and keep making new pods so we eat them all the time to keep up with the harvest. Organic snow peas currently cost 18,90 Euro/kilo and we would never eat as many as we do now if we had to buy them.

picking snow peas
In May, I planted our basil into the cold frame. Basil is a subtropical plant and really wants more heat than our climate usually provides but I was amazed by how much difference the little extra heat has made. I’m picking big bunches weekly which makes Sebastiaan very happy since pasta with pesto is his favorite dish of all time.

basil in cold frame
This is another garden inspired seasonal salad and as ever, vegetables that grow well together, taste good together too. I wanted the salad to be quite substantial (as opposed to leafy salads) but also flavorful and fresh. That’s why the dressing combines tangy yogurt and fragrant basil and mint. I tasted the salad both warm and cold and both versions have their charms. When the weather is hot, I would probably prefer the salad refrigerated though.
You can vary the vegetables according to what your garden or your farmers market is offering, using fresh peas instead of broad beans or french beans instead of sugar snap peas.

broad beans, snow peas, sugar snaps

Broad beans and peas salad
200 – 250 g (1 pound) broad beans, shelled weight
450 g (1 pound) snow peas and sugar snap peas
3 tbsp olive oil
125 ml (½ cup) whole milk yogurt
a small bunch of basil
mint, leaves from 1 sprig
salt, pepper

If your beans are bigger than tiny, remove also their skins. This is a fairly time consuming task but the amount in this recipe is not huge. I listened to a podcast while doing it and was done before the podcast was finished. Remove the strings of both snow peas and sugar snap peas.
Bring a large pan filled with water to the boil. Add salt and throw in the broad beans. The tiny ones do not need more than a minute or two, older beans might take a little longer to cook. Take the beans out with a slotted spoon and refresh them under cold running water to stop the boil. Cook the snow peas and sugar snaps until done but sill crunchy, about 3 minutes. Cool them under cold running water too.
To make the dressing, mix olive oil, yogurt and herbs in a food processor. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Arrange the peas and beans on a platter and pour over the dressing. Enjoy warm or refrigerate to serve cold later.

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