Was thinking about one particular dinner we had . . .
In this darling pub in Kingham . . .
Where the food was delicious, and we were so happy. So I found this pub online, discovered the name of the chef was Emily Watkins, and found one of her recipes. Look at her, she’s inspiring me and she doesn’t even know it.💞
It’s called “Baby Broad Bean, New Potato and Fresh Goat’s Cheese Salad” . . . we knew it had to be good because everything we tasted there was so wonderful. And it was so easy.
So off we went to find broad beans. But wait, what IS a broad bean? Google knew! So off we went for “Fava Beans,” because that’s what they’re called in America. And this is what a fresh fava bean looks like. Who knew? I think I like the name Broad Bean better than Fava Bean. Something a little too Hannibal Lector about Fava Beans.
Slit them open, and what do we have . . . big fat beans nestled in pockets surrounded with a protective foam-like substance … cuddled beans.
Pop them out . . . into the colander to give them a rinse.
Following the recipe we blanched the beans for 30 seconds, then plunged them in cold water. The recipe said, “Remove the skins and set aside.” “There are skins? Didn’t we just do that?” We’re talking to ourselves.
Yes, there are skins! Like one of those gifts where there’s a smaller box inside each box you unwrap! And there it is, the actual bean . . . no longer so very broad.
They have a little seam in them and can just automatically split in two . . . a wonder of nature.
Beautiful color, and they taste wonderful . . . these will not be our last broad beans!
We set the beans aside, and did potato prep. We don’t have the melt-in-your-mouth “Jersey” potatoes available in England (and called for in the recipe), so we got as close as we could with these small white new potatoes. We cooked 500 g of them (1/2 lb) until “just tender,” then removed from heat, added a “small handful of fresh mint,” and set the pan aside for another five minutes for the mint to infuse. Interesting, don’t you think? Joe’s making lamb chops, I think the mint and faaaava beans will be perfect with them. Drain the pan, remove the mint, and smash the potatoes roughly. Salt and pepper them.
While the potatoes were simmering, to the darkening garden I went, slashing air with machete to make breathing possible, to get some chives. Sorry to say, no chive flowers left!
Time out, short pause, must take photo, take quick sniff of rose!!!
Back in the house to mince the chives . . .
While I was in the garden, Joe started the dressing . . . whisking “rapeseed” oil, which is “canola oil” in America (I love foreign languages, especially when they’re in English) with juice of half a lemon, a tsp. of Dijon mustard, and a half tsp. of sugar. I made little chunks of the goat’s cheese and put them in a small bowl. (British recipes are MUCH easier to do if you have metric measurers like those above. Joe had no problem when the recipe called for 60 ml of canola oil ~ it’s a quarter of a cup!)
Then it was time to assemble the salad . . . “Put sorrel leaves or wild rocket in a large bowl,” ~ if you don’t see those at your supermarket, look for arugula because that’s rocket in America. I doubt it’s very wild though. Toss the greens together with the potatoes and beans, and the dressing, tossing gently, coating everything. Add the nuggets of goat’s cheese, and garnish with chives (and chive flowers for extra prettiness and flavor if you have them).
By this time Joe’s chops are sizzling …
Time out for a photo . . . we’re so proud of ourselves we have to take pictures!
And here we go! We loved it. It was the Pub Food we were dreaming about. Flavors combined like buttah, the potatoes, the cheese, the slight mintyness. We thought we might want to try a little bit of lemon zest in the dressing next time, but it was delicious just as it was. Joe woke up the next morning talking about it! A very good sign! We had such a good time doing this, I printed out two more Emily Watkins recipes to try. I’ll let you know how they come out! Pub House USA!
EMILY WATKIN’S BROAD BEANS, NEW POTATO, AND FRESH GOAT’S CHEESE SALAD Serves 4
- 1 lb. (1 kg) broad beans (fava beans)
- 1/2 lb. (500g) small creamiest white-skinned potatoes
- handful of fresh mint
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1/4 c. (60ml) rapeseed oil (canola)
- 2 big handfuls (100g) salad greens, sorrel, rocket, OR arugula
- about 1 c. (or to taste, or 120g) fresh goat’s cheese in nugget size pieces
- one bunch chives, finely chopped, chive flowers too, if you have them
- salt and pepper to taste
Remove beans from pods, blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds (you want them al dente). Pour off the water and plunge the beans into ice water. Remove the inside skins from the beans, put them in a little bowl and set aside. Put potatoes in salted water just to cover and bring to boil; simmer until just tender. Remove from heat, put mint in with the potatoes and set them aside for five minutes for the mint to infuse. Drain the pan, discard the mint, crush the potatoes roughly, salt and pepper, set aside to cool. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, lemon juice, mustard and sugar together. Put the greens in a large bowl, add the beans, the cooled potatoes, pour over the dressing and toss lightly to coat everything. Add nuggets of goats cheese, garnish with chives (and chive flowers if you can, nasturtiums are nice too!). Serve. Good the next day too. 😊