I could easily eat all of this immensely tasty and very healthy avocado and bean salad on my own. I just love it.
There are so many types of food that I simply adore – beans of all different kinds being one of them. I'm using broad beans (fava beans) in the salad.
Broad beans (fava beans) are a good vegetable source of protein and fibre and they are rich in folate and b-vitamins. They do require a bit of work - double podding if still in their pods - but they are well worth the effort.
Avocados are rich in vitamin E and essential fats. Seeds (as well as nuts) are also rich in essential fats, plus a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
All the ingredients in the dressing are good for you. Mustard contains curcumin which is a powerful antioxidant also found in turmeric. Extra virgin olive and vinegar are both healthy and can also help with weight loss (see Weight Loss Tips). And black pepper contains piperine, which helps your body to absorb more of the nutrients in the food you are eating.
Avocado and bean salad:
200g, 7 oz, 7 cups, mixed leaves – I like to use a mix of watercress, rocket (arugula) and spinach
75g, 2¾oz, broad beans (fava beans) - fresh or frozen
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 tablespoon sunflower and pumpkin seeds
Shavings of Parmesan cheese (use a potato peeler to make the cheese shavings)
1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons water
1. If the beans are still in their pods, open up the pods and remove the beans. Cook the broad beans in a pan of simmering water for 2-3 minutes if fresh, 4 minutes if from frozen, and then drain. Once the beans are cool enough to handle, peel off the skin of each bean (the skin slips off easily when you pinch the ends).
2. Place the sunflower and pumpkin seeds in a non-stick frying pan and dry-roast them over a moderate heat, stirring every now and then, for about a minute until the seeds start to brown a little. Be careful that they don’t burn. Once done, transfer the seeds to a plate and let them cool down.
3. Make the dressing by placing the mustard, pepper and the vinegar in a bowl. Whisk the ingredients together and keep on whisking while very slowly adding the oil. Add the water and whisk again.
4. Halve, peel and take out the stone from the avocado. Cut the avocado into cubes on a cutting board and squeeze over the lemon juice. Place the lettuce leaves in a bowl and add the avocado and broad beans. Sprinkle over the sunflower and pumpkin seeds and drizzle over some of the dressing. Scatter the cheese shavings on top of the salad.