Sunday, 8 July 2012

Broad Bean, Mint and Pomegranate Salad

The flood warnings didn’t put us off heading over to the Lake District this weekend. Having survived an epic storm and a flooded basement last week we shrugged at flood warnings and set off. There was another little guy along for the ride too, apart from TLI, Mr. Smokerson, my newly acquired smoker and firm friend; but more of him to come... My adventures in smoking have begun...


The weekend turned out to be warm and dappled in beautiful sunshine most of the time, apart from the bit when we were an hour from home up a deserted valley and the heavens opened. I thought it was snow at one point, but no, just huge, huge raindrops soaking us to the skin. Sheltering in the forest seemed a good idea at first; but when the rain stopped outside, we were still in the forest and the water falling from the trees continued to saturate us...


A few hours later I was sitting in the sun making a salad, it is a pretty funny kind of summer we're having... This salad is a little preview of sorts. I am hosting, alongside Carruthers and Kent wine merchants of Gosforth, a little food and wine evening. A taste of the Middle East with lots of different courses of sharing plates matched with different wines, I do the food, they do the wine. The event is part of the EAT Festival, which is currently in full swing. Our original date for the 19th July sold out more or less straight away, so we have decided to do it again, on the Friday 27th July. If you would like to come along you can find all of the details here.




This broad bean and pomegranate delight forms one half of the salad course, alongside a tomato, feta and tarragon salad with sumac dressing. As well as smoky dips, Moroccan breads, slow roast salted lamb, pistachio bombs, Lebanese reds, raki and more, it promises to be a lovely evening...

Shell and peel about 600g of broad beans and set them to one side. Then cut a pomegranate open and remove the seeds, you only need the seeds from one half, make sure you pick out all the skin. Finely slice 4 radishes and add them to the bowl with the pomegranate seeds. Remove the leaves from 4 sprigs of mint and finely shred them, add them to the bowl too. Then pick the leaves from 6 sprigs of parsley and add them whole.



Drop the broad beans into a pan of boiling salted water and blanch them for 2-3 minutes. Allow them to cool then add to everything else. At the very last minute dress everything with a glug of extra virgin olive oil and a splash of sherry vinegar. These amounts will serve 4 with other salads, or 2 as a larger portion.

It is a salad full of flavour, crunchy sweet pomegranate seeds, creamy smooth broad beans, peppery radishes and tons of herbs. We ate it in the sun alongside Mr. Smokerson, while he did his smoky thing with a piece of pork for 9 hours. I'm currently documenting the build, the smoking and the mistakes made...



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