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Broad Bean Pancetta Salad

A gorgeously summery salad, this is perfect for al fresco entertaining. If your broad beans are small – no bigger than your thumbnail – then it may not be necessary to peel them after cooking. If you prefer you could use a harder cheese, such as feta or pecorino, instead of the soft goat’s. Demonstrated at the 2011 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.


  • Salad

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 200g pancetta or 5 rashers of streaky bacon, cut into 1cm dice

  • 400g shelled fresh or frozen broad beans

  • 1 tbsp chopped mint

  • 125g soft goat’s cheese

  • Dressing

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  • Salt and ground black pepper


  • 1.

    First make the dressing by mixing together all the ingredients and seasoning with salt and pepper.

  • 2.

    Place a frying pan on a high heat, then once the pan is good and hot, pour in the olive oil, add the pancetta or bacon and fry until crispy and golden. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.

  • 3.

    Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the beans and boil for ½–1 minute or until they are just cooked, then drain. If the beans are quite big, peel them at this stage (they’ll pop out of their skins easily); this isn’t essential but I think it’s well worth it as the skins can be tough.

  • 4.

    Dress the beans while they are still warm, then leave to macerate for 15–20 minutes. Finally, add the cooked pancetta and the mint to the beans, crumble the cheese over the top and serve.

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