Asparagus, pea and Broad Bean Salad
This is the perfect late spring, early summer salad, using all the best produce from the garden, good farmer’s market or greengrocer.
For 4 as a main course or 6 as a starter
- 160g freshly-podded peas (frozen are fine)
- 200g freshly-podded broad beans (frozen are fine)
- 1 bunch thin asparagus (about 220g)
- 1 heaped tablespoon fresh mint, roughly chopped
- Juice and zest of 2 lemons
- 50ml extra olive oil
- Sea salt and ground black pepper
For the roasted onions
- 4 red onions (about 400g)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar syrup
- 2 tablespoons Agave nectar or runny honey
- 50ml olive oil
For the basil sauce
- Large bunch basil (about 50g)
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- Flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 150ml olive oil
Preheat the oven to 180* C Gas Mark 4
Peel the onions and cut into rounds (about 5mm) then spread onto a baking tray. Stir in the balsamic vinegar syrup, agave nectar syrup or honey and olive oil. Season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper and roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking time.
Meanwhile make the basil sauce. Pull the leaves from a large bunch of basil and put in a food processor with the garlic and seasoning. Process till chopped, then slowly add the olive oil. Any not used will keep for a week in the fridge.
To make the salad, first blanch the peas, boiling them for 2-3 minutes, drain and refresh in cold water. Do the same with the broad beans, then slip off their skins.
Griddle the asparagus until lightly charred. Don’t oil the griddle pan. Get it really hot before putting on the asparagus and just brush the spears with a little oil whilst griddling.
Mix all the vegetables with the fresh mint, squeeze over the lemon juice and drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil and toss.
Lay out the vegetables and finally top with the roasted onion and drizzle with some of the basil sauce. Finally sprinkle over the lemon zest.