It’s bean season. I got a bit carried away at the supermarket when I saw a pack of broad beans and then had to buy some others to keep them company. My grandpa used to grow broad beans on his allotment, I used to love unzipping the stiff, green case and finding the beans sitting in their damp, fluffy bed. I never liked eating them, though. That’s probably because my Mum never peeled them. I have learned that lesson.
So here’s a fresh bean salad with some avocado for creamy contrast. I could have used mint for a dressing and it would work well, but I decided on the warmth of tarragon instead, as it’s not hot enough for cooling to be essential.
For the dressing:
1/2 shallot, finely chopped
1 tsp tarragon, finely chopped
1/4 tsp mustard powder
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
For the salad:
500g broad bean pods
6 runner beans, topped and tailed
20 green beans, topped and tailed
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
Mix the dressing ingredients together, season with salt and pepper and set aside while the beans are cooking.
Shell the broad beans and put them in a pan of boiling, salted water.
Slice the runner beans and green beans on the diagonal and add them to the pan.
Simmer for 5 minutes.
Strain the beans and run under cold water to stop them cooking.
Skin the broad beans, by nicking one end of the bean and squeezing the bean out through the slit.
Toss the all the beans together with the avocado in a bowl.
Spoon the dressing over and serve.
Serves 2 as a light lunch with some crusty bread to mop up the juices. Some crumbled feta would make this more substantial if you don’t want to keep it vegan.