"For me, there's no greater harbinger of spring than the sight of fresh broad beans," says Alvarez. "They're certainly time-consuming, but absolutely worth the effort."
- 240 gm (1 cup) farro (see note)
- 2 kg broad beans, podded
- 150 gm ricotta salata, coarsely grated
- 1 cup (loosely packed) round mint, coarsely chopped, plus extra leaves to serve
- 4 spring onions, finely chopped
- 4 stems lovage, leaves coarsely chopped (see note)
- 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 50 ml red wine vinegar
- 1Cook farro in a saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (25-30 minutes), then drain and spread on a tray to cool.
- 2Meanwhile, drop broad beans in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 15 seconds, then straight into iced water (this makes them easier to peel). Drain and slip beans out of their skins, then combine in a bowl with remaining ingredients and farro, season to taste, toss to combine, scatter with extra mint and serve.
Note Farro is a available from select delicatessens. Lovage has a distinctive flavour that's somewhere between parsley and celery. It can be found at farmers' markets or specialist greengrocers, but if it's unavailable use flat-leaf parsley or small rocket leaves instead.
Drink Suggestion: When I think about this dish, I think about texture, so I'd recommend a wine with a certain mouthfeel, but with freshness and a touch of herbaceous flavour. My suggestion would be a Friulano from the north of Italy, such as Livio Felluga. Drink suggestion by Franck Moreau