Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hello Spring: Alex Kearns' broad bean pancetta egg salad

If you read this blog, then you may be aware that I love my magazines. There are advantages and disadvantages to this, viz:
Pros -
 - food mags provide lots of inspiration for meals, cooking, eating out and food styling
 - home mags show you other people's amazing houses in the suburbs and it ignites a flame of hope that your house could be like that
 - fashion mags provide pics of Hollywood starlets in the latest trendy getup (good for a laugh)

Cons -
 - there are so many gorgeous food mags that I have to get them all, and I don't have any more shelf space
 - the beautiful homes are always owned by other people and I know that, really, there's no way my house could ever be like that
 - I have no idea who some of the starlets are, and just giving their first name doesn't help - who the heck are Fearne, Jess and Khloe??

Regardless of their shortcomings, though, any doubts about the usefulness of my magazines is swept aside when I spy a fabulous recipe (with photo), leather Swan chair (in white), or Daphne Guinness taking a tumble in ridiculous platform booties (thank goodness for paparazzi).
Case in point: this wonderful recipe from Gourmet Traveller. It's by chef Alex Kearns (of Glebe Point Diner and Neutral Bay Bar and Dining), and it's full fresh, zingy flavours and brilliant colours and textures.  It's the Dolce and Gabbana of spring eating.

Broad bean, pancetta and poached egg salad
serves 2 as a light meal

150g podded broad beans
4-5 thin slices pancetta
2 tblsp white wine vinegar
2 eggs, at room temperature
150g podded peas
2 tblsp parsley, finely chopped
1 tblsp mint, finely chopped
1/2 tblsp dill, finely chopped

Lemon vinaigrette
2 tblsp lemon juice
2 tsp caster sugar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed

1.  Make the lemon vinaigrette: whisk together the lemon juice, sugar and a pinch of salt. Then whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt - the vinaigrette should be quite sweet. Add the garlic and stir.
2.  Put the broad beans in boiling water, and return to the boil for 3 minutes.  Peel the broad beans and set aside.
3.  For the pancetta: place the pancetta on a baking tray and heat in a 180C oven for 6-8 minutes, until crisp. Drain on paper towels then break into pieces.
4.  For the poached eggs: bring a shallow saucepan of water to the boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer, then add the vinegar. Crack an egg into a cup, and, one at a time, slide the egg into the water. Stir the water to make the eggwhite swirl around the yolk. Cook until soft, 3-4 minutes.  Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and drain.
5.  For the peas: cook peas in boiling water for 4 minutes.  Add the broad beans for the final 20 seconds, to warm through. Drain, transfer to a bowl, add the parsley, mint and dill, and mix together.
6.   Add half the vinaigrette to the beans and peas and toss to combine.  Add the pancetta pieces. Divide the salad among bowls, top with an egg. Drizzle with remaining dressing, season with black pepper, and serve.

Recipe adapted from Gourmet Traveller (Oct 2010)

 Ingredients: peas, broad beans (skins removed), pancetta and eggs.
I used frozen peas and broad beans which makes this dish possible even when they're not in season.

The lemon vinaigrette is sweet and tangy at the same time.
Really delicious.

And the soft-poached eggs let their runny centres meld into the salad...


  1. Dolce and Gabbana - lol! But you are absolutely right - this is totally fashionable for spring season.

  2. Ooh, I bet this dish is so good when the yolk breaks over those peas, Bel. Nice! I always make stuff like this, especially in the Spring when the peas are so wonderful.
    p.s. I'm a food magazine thief;) Oh, and I hope you have a great Spring. Fall & Spring are the best months-me thinks...

  3. Broadbeans are the best, and with a runny yolk, pure bliss.

  4. This looks totally my type of salad! I wish I could find some fresh (or frozen) broadbeans! Miss them a lot!

  5. I'm a sucker for food mags as well and it's truly a wonder that i have any space to move in my apartment because of it! This seems like a stellar recipe full of good-for-you ingredients!

  6. Totally wrong time for me to be reading this... :-)

  7. I have an issue with broad-beans in general....issue is I dont like them. But they look so've convinced me. I must try to "enjoy" them!

  8. Super sexy salad, especially with that oozy yolk!

    Sadly my budget only allows for one magazine subscription but with the magic of the internet I don't feel like I'm missing out on too much :)

  9. My goodness that looks divine! I just love the combo of pancetta/bacon with peas/broad beans. The egg would just make this amazing!

  10. Such a classic salad, and yet always as tasty!

  11. LOL Belle you're hilarious! And who is Fearne? I thought I read all of the trash mags but clearly I need to do more research! ;)

  12. Deeeslish.. this makes me want to cook something with broadbeans very soon!

  13. YUM this is making me hungry!!! love the pic showing the gooey poached egg insides!

  14. oh another pretty dish with broad beans!