We live on Bryn Teg which translates to English as ‘Fair Hill’. I call it tiger mountain because of the stripes, but it doesn’t seem to be catching on in these parts.
So Fair Hill it is and this salad reflects what is growing near our little home. Things are beginning to come into season and our local farm shop’s shelves are beginning to fill (thankfully). We bought what they had and this delicious salad was born. The combination of flavours worked surprisingly well with the pesto and it was even better the day later after having a good marinate in the fridge.
Broad beans (Fava beans) are special in any salad, they add a unique, nutty texture. Texture is one of the key ingredients to a brilliant salad and ingredients should be selected accordingly. Limp leaves are not the way forward! Fresh and crunchy is the key, something that is exciting to in the mouth and on the taste buds.
We have been discovering the art of salad making this raw month. Ingredients and dressings take on a completely different flavour when combined and subtle changes in flavouring can make all the difference.
Making a vegan pesto is tricky, without the pungent cheese, you just cannot recreate that unmistakable flavour. I think this is a decent attempt, matured cheese is something that vegans just have to give up on. You can buy those yeast cheese flake things.
You do end up using quite a bit of herb in the pesto, but it is well worth it.
1 cup shelled broad beans
3 handfuls chopped sprouting purple brocolli (leaves as well)
1 sweet potato (peeled and grated)
1 courgette (1/2 grated, 1/2 cubed)
4 cups basil leaves, loosely packed
1 cup fresh parsley
1 – 2 tsp sweetener of your choice
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup hazelnuts (soaked overnight, drained and rinsed)
1 – 2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
3 tbs nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
Salad – Separate your broccoli florets from the stems and leaves, chop up. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
Pesto – Chop the basil and parsley until reduced to 1 cup basil and 1/4 cup parsley, blend all ingredients except hazelnuts until smooth. Add hazelnuts gradually and continue blending, adding more olive oil as needed for desired consistency. Check seasoning.
Thin down the pesto a little, a thick dressing and mix into the salad.
Dress with a few of the broccoli leaves and a few more spoonfuls of the thick pesto. Maybe a few leaves of parsley or basil if you are feeling extravagant!
We Love It!
The glory of pesto! Mix it in yoghurt for a tasty side dish, thin with oil for a dressing, mix with hummus to make the finest hummus ever! It really is one of the finest things you can have lurking around the fridge.
Sometimes referred to as the horse bean (!), broad beans like all legumes are a high in protein and low in fat. A really meaty legume! They are packed with vitamins, fibre and have a high iron content.