Recipe: Broad bean and herb salad

Funny old things, broad beans. And a little frustrating too. The discrepancy in volume between their fully podded selves and the individual, edible bean is huge. I’ve heard some people complain that they don’t like oranges because peeling them is too much effort. If you’re one of those people, then you’re going to miss out on the wonders of fresh, in-season broad beans. We love them. Of course, frozen, de-podded broad beans are available, but somehow the effort of removing the beans from the pods, blanching them in boiling water for a couple of minutes and then slipping the bright green beans from their skins can be all part of the pleasure.

In any case, when broad beans start turning up in recipes for salads in the weekend papers, then you know it’s definitely spring and almost the beginning of summer. This Yotam Ottolenghi recipe, here, adds pearl barley to a salad of broad beans and herbs – a nutty addition that also makes for a more substantial salad.

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