, Step by step

Asparagus, Broad Bean, Pancetta, and Pea Shoot Salad

A delightful summer Saturday lunch with friends, a bottle of white Burgundy, and putting the world to rights!

Mark Stower, Director of Food and Service.

Preparation Time: 20 mins

Cooking Time: 10 mins

Serves: 6


  • Step 1

    Start by cutting the asparagus spears 10cm long, and peel them from just below the tip. Cook in boiling water for 1 minute and refresh under cold water.

  • Step 2

    Broad beans are best eaten peeled, so pinch and squeeze the bean out of the tough outside skin.

  • Step 3

    Place the pancetta on a non-stick baking tray and cook in a hot oven until crispy.

  • Step 4

    Cut the lettuce into large chunks and wash. Mix with the pea shoots and keep to one side.

  • Step 5

    Mix the salad with the broad beans, parmesan and 20ml of olive oil. Season with sea salt and black pepper, then lace the salad onto the centre of the plates.

  • Step 6

    Arrange the asparagus and tomatoes around the outside of the plate and serve with the pancetta stick on top of the salad.

  • Step 7

    Drizzle the remaining oil around the plate.


Are you eating your 5 a day yet? Recent figures indicate that on average we are still not eating more than 3 portions of vegetables and fruit daily.

According to recent research, eating vegetables – which are excellent sources of dietary fibre, protective vitamins and minerals – may be more important than eating fruit for reducing risk of diseases such as diabetes.

Pea shoots – the tendrils and young leaves of pea plants – are a pretty novel ingredient in the UK but have been long used in Chinese cooking.

Asparagus is another shoot of what is technically a flowering plant that has been cultivated in Britain since the seventeenth century when it was known as ‘sparrow grass’.

Both pea shoots and asparagus are rich in vitamins – especially the B vitamin folate which is important for growth and renewal of cells in the body.