The Summer brings with it one of my favourite ingredients, broad beans, and a delicious salad that always reminds me of my mother. Broad Beans Fitz. My mum has long since passed away but her love of food was perfectly captured in this one simple dish, a rich concoction brought to her attention by an idiosyncratic pair of TV chefs in the 1990’s called the Two Fat Ladies. Like my mum they were singular and out of step, their food a delight, a triumph of substance over style. Rich, tasty and divine.
So please. Do yourself a favour. Make this broad bean salad some weekend. If you cant get fresh broad beans buy them frozen. If you live in the US you’ll be looking for fava beans.
Ingredients (serves 6)
115 ml Extra-virgin olive oil
Black pepper, freshly ground
6 strips bacon, cut into little strips
700 g pounds shelled, fresh, young broad beans
4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and left in cold water
1 1/2 tins anchovy fillets
Crusty bread and unsalted butter, for serving
Make a dressing with the olive oil, adding lemon juice and seasoning to taste: keep it quite tart. For easy mixing, make it in a screwtop jar.
Grill or fry the bacon until crisp and drain on paper towels.
Put the beans into boiling salted water and cook until just tender; drain and refresh under cold running water.
Pat the eggs dry and chop roughly together with parsley and chives.
Lay the beans in some ravishing china dish, sprinkle with the bacon, pile the eggs and herbs on next and lattice the top with the anchovy fillets. Chill slightly. Just before serving, give the dressing a good shake and drizzle over the beans. Bring to the table with some good crusty bread and unsalted butter.
If I had a three course hangman’s meal this would be my first. And I think I can speak for my entire family. It’s that good.