Broad Bean Salad with Ricotta and Tarragon Vinaigrette

Fresh ricotta and broad bean salad

Whenever I get broad beans in the organic box, my thoughts immediately turn to a broad bean and fresh goats curd salad I had on a French Cookery Holiday with Rachel Demuth. Alas, fresh goats curd is a bit hard to come by in these parts, but I’m lucky to have Cirencester’s Organic Farm Shop nearby where I can buy fresh unhomogenized whole milk for fresh ricotta, a very worthy substitute.

I’ve already written about making fresh ricotta. You could, of course, buy ricotta, or any other soft crumbly cheese, to save yourself a bit of time. No one would fault you for it – the time spent shelling, cooking and de-skinning broad beans is a labor of love in itself.

Beans galore Broad beans Broad beans, shelled Shelling Broad beans

A few other related but disjoint notes:

This recipe was originally submitted to We Grow Our Own’s Cultivate, Cook & Click Competition. It lots to a very worth Gooseberry and Elderflower Cake. Nevertheless, We Grow Our Own is a blog worth visiting for anyone interesting in growing and cooking seasonal veg (especially chilies – the blog’s author is Wahaca’s chili guru).

I’ve been told by fellow foodie Diana Morgan that the tarragon vinaigrette is also good with mint instead of tarragon, and an excellent dressing for new potatoes.

If anyone knows of a good source of fresh organic goats milk in Wiltshire or Gloucester (so I can make my own fresh goats curd), please let me know!

Broad Bean Salad with Ricotta and Tarragon Vinaigrette

This salad was inspired by a dish I had on a French Cookery Holiday with Rachel Demuth. The original salad was made with fresh goats curd, but I’ve found ricotta to be a worthy substitute. If you make your own ricotta cheese or goats curd, this salad is the perfect use of those delicate homemade cheeses. If you don’t have tarragon, dill and basil work very well, too.


  • 720g broad beans (~250g shelled)
  • 100g sugar snap beans
  • 100g ricotta
  • salad leaves

Tarragon Vinaigrette

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • pinch salt & pepper


Pod the broad beans and boil them until tender (about 2 or 3 minutes). During the last minute of cooking, add the snap beans. You want the vegetables to still be crisp so don’t cook for very long. Drain in a colander.

Make the dressing by whisking all of the vinaigrette ingredients together in a bowl.

Arrange the lettuce leaves on two plates. Add the snap beans and broad beans over the leaves. Top with crumbled ricotta and drizzle with the dressing (you may not need all of the vinaigrette – you can store the extra for use on new potatoes, or another broad bean salad). Top with a grind of fresh black pepper if you like and serve straight away.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes

Yield: 4 servings (as a starter)

Per serving: 351 Calories | 12.9 grams Fat | 44.1 grams Carbohydrates | 15.5 grams Protein | 9.9 grams Fiber

5 thoughts on “Broad Bean Salad with Ricotta and Tarragon Vinaigrette

  1. Mom

    This sounds fabulous. Alas, I must confess I have never tasted a "broad bean"…. what is it like? Any resemblance to a lima bean?

  2. Monica

    Broad beans are the same as fava beans. See:​ki/Vicia_faba

    A bit like a cross between peas and lima beans. (You often see broad beans and peas used together in dishes.) They're VERY popular here in the UK, I think because they grow so well. This dish would also be very good with peas, green beans, and really anything similar.

  3. Jes

    The broad beans look so beautiful! I haven't run across any fresh beans like that, but I can see how they'd pair great with the ricotta.

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