Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Recipe Corner - Broad bean and bacon salad with goats' cheese croutons

Being on a diet and saying “I like salad” is a bit like those very slender celebrities who claim to be “stuffed” after a small piece of steamed fish and some broccoli – it sounds like there is some serious self delusion going on. But I am going to stick my neck out here – people, I like salad, I really do. Admittedly, I like to put stuff on my salad, but I genuinely enjoy crunching through a pile of lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes et al.

I’ve always been slightly wary of serving up a main meal salad, assuming that D was not a fan. But it turns out I have been wrong on this score, he, like me, is quite happy to eat it as long as it is a vehicle for Other Things. Were he to be presented with a plate of naked iceberg adorned with nothing more than a few palely bland chunks of tomato, it might be quite another matter.

This particular salad was borne from necessity – I am still trying to come up with fifty different ways to serve broad beans, plus we had some bacon and some goats’ cheese in the fridge that needed using up. But it was absolutely delicious and perfect light but tasty fare for a Sunday (oh-bugger-its-weigh-in-tomorrow) evening.


For the green salad:

Mixed leaves, shredded
¼ cucumber, chopped or sliced
Tbsp olive oil
½ tbsp white wine vinegar
Tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper

For the broad beans:

100g frozen broad beans
2 rashers of back bacon, fat trimmed, and chopped
4-5 spring onions, finely sliced
Tsp butter
2 tbsp half fat crème fraiche
Tsp fresh mint, finely chopped
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper

For the croutons:

4 thin slices of French baguette (approx 20g each)
60g soft goats’ cheese

Serves 2, 12 pro points per portion

Tip the broad beans into a saucepan of simmering salted water and boil for around five minutes until tender.

Meanwhile, heat the grill and toast one side of the baguette slices for a few minutes. When lightly toasted, remove, and smear the goats’ cheese on the other side. Have these on a baking sheet ready to go back under. Whisk the oil, vinegar, mustard and seasoning to make the vinaigrette.

Melt the butter in a non stick pan and fry the bacon. After a couple of minutes add in the spring onions and toss well to coat in the delicious rendering bacon fat. Soften for a further two to three minutes.

Now, place the goats’ cheese croutons back under the grill for around five minutes until beginning to brown. While they’re under, add the broad beans to the bacon pan and combine well before adding the crème fraiche, lemon, mint and seasoning. Allow to bubble gently and remove from the heat – you want them to be warm but not blisteringly hot when they hit the salad.

Toss the leaves and cucumber with the vinaigrette. Top with the broad bean and bacon mixture, and finally the goats’ cheese croutons.


  1. I like salad too! Not a sad 1970s iceburg, watery tomato and cress, but lots of leaves and raw veg bits - as well as some tasty protein.


  2. This looks amazing. I'm also a salad fan - so long as it's not the aforementioned iceburg and soggy tomato.