The combination of richly yolked organic hen’s eggs, crispy, salty pancetta and our new-season broad beans ensures that this protein-rich take on a Caesar salad is not only filling but wonderfully satisfying too. I love this as a quick mid-week supper dish, or piled onto big platters as part of a leisurely lunch with friends on summer weekends.
INGREDIENTS (SERVES 2)
2 organic hen’s eggs
200g broad beans
160g pancetta, chopped into small cubes
2 large cloves garlic, finely sliced
6 spring onions, dark green tops removed and bases halved lengthways
4 sprigs thyme
10g parsley, roughly chopped
4 baby gem lettuce, quartered lengthways
1 slice rye, toasted
2 tsps olive oil
pinch of salt
METHOD DIFFICULTY: EASY
Bring a pan of water to the boil and gently place in the eggs. Turn the heat down and simmer for 6 minutes. Remove the eggs from the pan with a slotted spoon and run under cold water until cool. Gently roll the eggs on a hard surface to crack the shells, then peel and set aside.
Blanch the broad beans in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, strain and run under cold water. Remove the outer husks by squeezing gently to release the bright green centre. Discard the husks and set aside the beans.
Blend all of the ingredients for the dressing with a stick blender until thick and smooth.
To make the rye crumb, place the toasted slice into a high-speed blender and blitz until it becomes a fine crumb. Transfer to a pan with the olive oil and salt and fry for 3-4 minutes until the crumb becomes light and crispy. Set aside.
Put the pancetta into a frying pan and fry until just beginning to turn golden. Add the finely sliced garlic, spring onions and thyme and sautée for 3-4 minutes before adding the broad beans. Stir through the chopped parsley and toss everything together before setting aside.
Place a griddle pan over a high heat and leave for a minute or two until piping hot. Toss the baby gem quarters in a little olive oil until lightly coated. Place onto the hot pan and griddle lightly on each side before transferring to a platter.
Pour the pancetta, beans and spring onions over the baby gem lettuce and pick out the sprigs of thyme. Slice the soft boiled eggs into quarters and arrange on the platter. Finally sprinkle over the rye crumb and top with a generous glug of the dressing before serving.