Broad Bean, Pancetta and Courgette Salad

A vibrant salad recipe from the Cucina cookbook. The medley of broad beans, smoked pancetta cubes and courgettes is finished with vinaigrette and walnuts.

Introduction

Make this in July and August when broad beans appear. I recommend you buy a big chunk of pancetta and chop it up yourself – it stores in the fridge for weeks. When you brown the pancetta. don't discard the cooking fat – add it to the dressing to give an extra depth of flavour.

Serves 4
Easy

Ingredients

75g pancetta, cut into pieces about 1 x 2 cm
200g podded broad beans (about 1 kg unpodded)
8 baby or 4 medium courgettes
4 tbsp olive oil
1 quantity Classic vinaigrette (see below for ingredients and method)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 walnut halves, roughly chopped, to serve

Instructions

Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add the pancetta. Cook, stirring frequently, until the pieces are golden brown. Transfer the pancetta and fat to a bowl and set aside.

Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the broad beans and boil for 2-3 minutes. Drain and plunge into iced water; leave to cool a little before removing the skins.

If using medium courgettes, cut them into four lengthways and slice into pieces about 5 mm thick. Cut baby courgettes into 4–5 pieces on the diagonal.

Heat the olive oil in the frying pan over a medium heat and add the courgettes. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes, or until they are a light golden colour. Add a little seasoning (remember, the pancetta is already quite salty), then add the broad beans. Cook for about 30 seconds to warm through, then add the pancetta along with its cooking fat. Mix everything together well and check the seasoning one last time.

Remove from the heat and stir in the vinaigrette while still warm. Serve on individual plates, with the walnuts scattered over.

To make the vinaigrette you will need:

20ml white wine vinegar; 100 ml olive oil; salt.

Put the vinegar in a bowl, season well and mix until the salt is completely dissolved. Add the olive oil and whisk together.

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