I’ve been a bit hard on myself these past few weeks. Like that dude, Bear Grylls, I’ve been putting myself through a mad-hard endurance test. Except, I haven’t been scaling mountains or eating bugs. No, my fortitude has been tested in a far more boring manner: I’ve been working a lot, not sleeping much and drinking far too much alcohol than should even be allowed. Which is pretty much the same as the entire working world in the run up to Christmas.
Anyways, after a few weeks of this abuse, my immune system has finally given me the finger, packed up and gone on strike. And within seconds, my old friend herpes simplex seized his chance and erected a tribute to an erupting Mount Vesuvius on my bottom lip. Very attractive.
Apparently I need vitamins. Stat!
Isn’t it funny though, when your body really needs healthy nourishment; all you want to eat is beans on toast? Which are pretty vitamin deficient I think. But this salad saved me, and more importantly, it got my immune system and me into peace talks. It’s totally healthy but it doesn’t feel like you’re eating rabbit food. Oh no, instead you get all the lovely, herby goodness, nicely balanced with the salty feta and finished off with the crunchy toasted pitas; satisfying the demands of both taste buds and immune system in one go. Nice one!
Broad bean fattoush
I got this recipe from an old edition of a BBC Good Food magazine, but you can also find it on the BBC website. It will feed about 6 people as a side dish or starter, but The Fella and I generally eat this as a dinner salad; it doesn’t keep well, as the bread gets soggy, so we just have to finish it all in one go.
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) broad beans, frozen or fresh
3 wholemeal pitta breads, split into halves then toasted and roughly broken up into pieces
20 g (1 oz) fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
20 g (1 oz) fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
small bunch chives, snipped
170 g (6 oz) feta cheese, roughly crumbled
For the dressing:
zest and juice 1 lemon
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp caster sugar
Salt and pepper
Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook the broad beans for about 2-3 minutes or until they are just tender. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool and stop them cooking further, then drain again. Remove the beans from their skins and place them in a large mixing bowl.
Halve the cucumber lengthways, (you could scrape out the seeds using a teaspoon, but I don’t) then slice and add to the mixing bowl. Add the roughly chopped mint, parsley and chives into the bowl.
For the dressing, mix together the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil and sugar with plenty of seasoning. Pour over the beans and herbs and add the feta to the bowl. Gently toss this all together.
Tear the toasted pitta into pieces and add these to the salad at the very last moment, otherwise they will get absorb the dressing and become slightly soggy.
Serve immediately and feel better!
This lovely salad is just the ticket to get your vitamin fix before Christmas and of course, to keep the oul immune system on side.
You might also like:
Fig, goat’s cheese and pine nut salad
Creamy, basily, mushroomy pasta
Pretty potato salad