Broad Bean Salad with Shaved Fennel, Pear and Pecorino

3:10 pm on 3 December 2010


  • 2kg broad beans in the pod
  • salt
  • 150 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar ( optional)
  • 120gm pecorino
  • 2 small fennel bulbs
  • 2 pears
  • a few mint leaves


Pop broad beans from their pods and blanch in boiling water for about 20 seconds, then swiftly refresh in iced water until cool. Drain beans and carefully nick outer skin of the larger beans, then squeeze out beans.Leave smallest beans as they are.

Whisk extra-virgin olive oil into lemon juice in a small bowl, then add lemon zest and season to taste. Adjust acidity with castor sugar if you like.

Shave pecorino. Trim and discard outer layer from fennel bulbs, saving a few young tender greeen tips. Slice fennel very thinly lengthways, removing core as you go. Peel and quarter pears, then slice very thinly lengthways. Tear mint leaves and toss gently in a large mixing bowl with fennel, pear, beans and enough dressing to coat lightly, then season again. Arrange salad on plates, layering with pecorino, and serve at once drizzled with remaining dressing.

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan

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