Oh boy. This salad is amazing! Just like every Sunday, I sat down to plan my meals for the week, based on what I have in the fridge and the garden. Following a delivery of a very large bag of fresh peas from my parents, some organic broad beans from the farmer's market, and a recent binge on mayonnaise making, this salad was born.
- 1 cup broad beans, podded and peeled (if you have the patience!)
- 1 cup freshly podded peas
- 1/2 cup dried orzo pasta
- 4 rashers of bacon, fried until crispy
- crumbled blue cheese, to taste (I used a beautiful, raw New Zealand blue from our cheesemonger- divine!)
- handful of fresh mint, finely diced
- 3-4 slices of fresh, grainy bread
- olive oil to toss
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 whole, fresh, free range eggs
- 1 Tbsp vinegar (I used 1/2 balsamic, 1/2 white)
- 1 tsp whole grain mustard
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup oil (I used 1/2 EVOO, 1/2 canola)
- 1 past-it's-best avocado
- squeeze of lemon juice
- grind of black pepper
1. Boil the jug, and pour boiling water over the beans and peas to blanch. After they turn bright green, drain and run under cold water. Fry in a pan with some butter until they start to brown ever so slightly.
2. Cook orzo as per packet instructions. I boil mine like pasta, and keep a close eye on it, as it goes from cooked to soggy quite quickly! Drain and run under cold water.
3. Dice cooked bacon into small pieces.
4. Chop bread into pieces, toss in oil and seasonings, and fry in a dry pan until crispy. Set aside.
5. For the mayonnaise, place eggs, vinegar, mustard and salt into a blender and blend until foamy. Add 1/4 cup oil and blend until combined. Continue to add the oil in batches, blending until combined after each addition. At this point I took half of the batch out to have as plain mayonnaise for later. Then, to the remaining mayo I added the avocado, lemon juice and pepper, and blended again until well combined.
6. To assemble the salad, place peas and beans, mint, orzo, blue cheese and bacon into a bowl, and toss with the avocado mayonnaise. Serve with a side or crispy croutons and enjoy!
This salad was delicious! If you were vegetarian, it would be easy to exclude the bacon. This was filling enough for us as a light dinner, but some grilled chicken or BBQ-ed zucchini would also make a delicious addition. The avocado mayonnaise is a divine treat, and I bet would taste amazing on a BLT. Mmmm, lunch today, I think!