This Broad Bean Salad with creamy avocado dressing is the ultimate green salad. Rich in nutrients and packed with healthy vegetables, you can have it as a bowl for lunch or as a side salad.
Why I Love Grilled Courgette and Broad Bean Salad
I had a craving for a really clean salad. Do you ever get that sometimes? Nothing too big in enhanced flavour but relying on the natural goodness of individual vegetables to create a bowl of happiness.
When I was deciding what to put in it, I realised I was so spoilt for choice, and I had to literally reign in my selection of ingredients!
I knew I wanted to grill the courgettes or zucchini to give it a slightly smoky flavour and pairing it with broad beans, snow pea sprouts and asparagus was going to make a well-rounded salad.
Because I was spil for choice, I just had to create another green salad with broad beans os do check out our Spicy Green Salad with Avocado too.
For some reason, I always associate asparagus and zucchini or courgette, together all the time. Not sure why! Perhaps I like the combination of the crunch of the asparagus with the softness of the summer squashes.
I also wanted to create a salad where the dressing would be so delicious that you’d literally lick it off the bowl. And my daughter did exactly that! This avocado dressing recipe was a winner!
How to Eat Avocado
Avocado has become a staple in many households. A good source of healthy fats, protein and fibre, this stone fruit (yes, it’s a fruit!) is incredibly versatile.
Its creamy texture enables us to use it in many different ways to give any recipe added texture and of course, flavour.
I thought I’d also share with you what else you can do with avocados in case you have some leftover after making a salad.
Au Naturale: You can have your avocado the way it is. My daughter will cut the avocado in half, sprinkle with salt and cracked pepper and just scoop it out with a spoon. Just like she would with a mango cheek.
Breakfast: Smashed avocado remains as one of the most popular breakfast items in Australia. All you are literally doing is smashing the avocado, and putting it on top of toast.
You can have it as it is, or add some usual breakfast favourites such as bacon, eggs and grilled tomatoes.
If you’re a real Aussie, we like to put vegemite on our toast before adding the avocado on top. So fantastic!
Some people like to add avocado to their breakfast bowl, stirred through scrambled eggs or simply as slices with their breakfast of choice.
Dip: Of course, we all can’t go past a good guacamole. Everyone has their own unique way of making it including just adding some paprika and lemon or adding some cucumber, onions and tomatoes to the mix. Whichever way you like it, it’s the best snack ever.
Substitute: I use avocado as a substitute for mayonnaise all the time. Its creamy texture allows me to make this healthy change. I do this a lot with my sandwiches and wraps.
Sushi: We do “make your own sushi” lunches and dinner quite a bit. The kids love getting involved and creating their own sushi roll.
This is also a much less stressful way of entertaining as I don’t have to second guess myself as to who would or wouldn’t eat certain ingredients.
Avocado is a crucial part of the menu, and it tends to be the one ingredient that disappears the fastest!
Smoothies: Love avocado in smoothies! A healthy substitute for yoghurt or ice cream. Also great for those ultra-green smoothies.
Or you can try it the Vietnamese way and add condensed milk! It’s more like a shake, and it’s called Sinh tố bơ. You add avocado, ice, condensed milk and regular milk.
On a side note. Do coincidences sometimes freak you out a little? As I am writing this blog post about some ways to eat avocado, Sammy sends a text telling us her uncle gave her half a tray of avocados. I thought “she can read my mind!”
Then Phenie replies by saying “have it the Asian way with condensed milk!”. Now…how did she know I was writing about smoothies???? It’s no wonder the 3 of us are on this adventure together. We all think alike, all the time and even at the same time! Hah! Wait till I tell the girls.
Fries: Avocado fries are so underrated. I absolutely love them and a much better alternative to potato and sweet potato. I have to admit we don’t eat fried food a lot, but I’m a sucker for these!
Sauces and Dressings: You can most definitely use avocado as a pasta sauce, sauce for any grilled meats and even a dipping sauce. We love using them to create an avocado dressing recipe, as we have for this broad bean salad.
Benefits of Eating Broccoli Daily
Broccoli has the fantastic ability to help you feel fuller as it’s full of fibre. I tend to steam a few florets and pack it as part of my daughter’s school lunch.
It’s an extraordinarily healthy and easy snack to have, especially when she’s on the run during her school day.
It’s a great source of Vitamin C which is, of course, great for your skin and eyes. Still, more importantly, it can help decrease muscle soreness following exercise. Which is something I personally need regularly! I must be getting old as I’m always sore after a workout!
Broccoli also helps to eliminate contaminants in the body, which is why it is the one vegetable that gets included in detox recipes regularly.
Although I do like shaved raw broccoli to create a healthy broccoli salad, I don’t eat broccoli raw very often. My favourite way of eating it is a simple stir fry with garlic.
How to Make Grilled Courgette and Broad Bean Salad
How to Shave the Cucumber
Please start this recipe with the cucumber as it needs time to sit.
Peel the cucumber. Then, using a wide mouth peeler, press hard and peel the cucumber. Do so until you reach the seed. Then turn to the opposite side and do the same. We are avoiding peeling the seeds as it makes the salad too wet.
In a small mixing bowl, add some salt to the peeled cucumber.
Place the salted cucumber in a colander and let it sit on top of the mixing bowl. The salt will draw out the water from the cucumber so that it doesn’t make the salad watery. Water may start to drip through the colander into the mixing bowl.
We will come back to the cucumber in the assembly stage.
How to Grill Courgettes
Cut the courgette or zucchini into discs about 1 cm wide. In a small mixing bowl, coat them with 1 tsp of olive oil.
Place a grill pan on the stove and put on medium heat. Place the courgette or zucchini on the grill pan and grill for 1.5 minutes.
Then turn them all and grill the other side for another 1.5 minutes. Don’t move them or toss them around as you’re after the perfect grill marks.
How to Prepare the Rest of The Ingredients
Defrost 1 cup of broad beans. Place in a small saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and put into cold water to stop the cooking process.
Peel the skin off the broad beans by breaking a small hole in the skin and then pushing the bean out through the opening. It should pop out easily.
Cut the broccoli into florets. Place in a small saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and put into cold water to stop the cooking process. Pat dry and set aside.
Cut the asparagus diagonally. Each asparagus should yield about 4-5 pieces. Place in a small saucepan of boiling water for 1.5 minutes. Drain and put into cold water to stop the cooking process. Pat dry and set aside.
Toast the nigella seeds on a small fry pan for 1-2 minutes.
Cut the snow pea sprouts in half. We only want the top half.
How to Make the Creamy Avocado Dressing
Cut the avocado in half. Peel the avocado and discard the stone.
Roughly chop the coriander leaves to yield ¼ cup.
Remove the skin of the garlic clove.
Cut the lime in half.
Add the avocado, garlic clove, juice of ½ lime, water, chopped coriander, olive oil, tamari, salt and pepper into a food processor.
Blitz until it is pureed.
How to Assemble the Salad
Before we can assemble the salad, we need to get back to the cucumber.
Take a small handful of cucumber and place them between the palms of your hands. Give them a good squeeze. You may be surprised how much water comes out. Do this for the rest of the cucumber.
In a small mixing bowl, coat the broccoli with 2 tbsp of avocado dressing.
Place the rest of the avocado at the bottom of a large bowl.
Roll the cucumber ribbons and place standing in one spot in the bowl.
Continue adding the vegetables to fill the bowl. Place the snow pea sprouts stalk first, followed by the grilled courgettes, broccoli florets, broad beans and then asparagus.
Sprinkle the salad with nigella seeds.
Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
This broad bean salad had all the elements of a good green salad. Raw crunchy snow pea sprouts, creamy avocado dressing, healthy broccoli florets and the soft tender ribbons of the cucumber.
We smashed this in a matter of minutes and has fast become a family favourite.
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Grilled Courgette and Broad Bean Salad
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- Start this recipe with the cucumber as it needs time to sit. Peel the skin off the cucumber. Using a wide mouth peeler, peel the cucumber on one side until you reach the seed. Then turn it onto the opposite side and repeat. We don’t want the seeds as it makes the salad too wet.In a small mixing bowl, place the cucumber ribbons and a pinch of salt. Place the shaved cucumber in a colander and let it rest on top of the mixing bowl. The salt will draw out as much water as possible, and water may start to drip from the colander into the mixing bowl.
- Cut the courgette or zucchini into round discs about 1 cm wide. In a small mixing bowl, coat the courgette with 1 tsp of olive oil. Place a grill pan on medium heat and grill the courgette or zucchini for 1.5 minutes on each side. Don’t move them around as you want the nice even grill marks.
- Defrost 1 cup of broad beans. Place in a small saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and put into cold water to stop the cooking process. Peel the skin off the broad beans by breaking a small hole in the skin and then pushing the bean out through the opening. It should pop out easily.
- Cut the broccoli into florets. Place in a small saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and put into cold water to stop the cooking process. Pat dry and set aside.
- Cut the asparagus diagonally. Each asparagus should yield about 4-5 pieces. Place in a small saucepan of boiling water for 1.5 minutes. Drain and put into cold water to stop the cooking process. Pat dry and set aside.
- Toast the nigella seeds on a small fry pan for 1-2 minutes.
- Cut the snow pea sprouts in half. We only want the top half.
- Cut the avocado in half. Peel the avocado and discard the stone.
- Roughly chop the coriander leaves to yield ¼ cup.
- Remove the skin of the garlic clove.
- Cut the lime in half.
- Add all the salad dressing ingredients with salt and pepper into a food processor.
- Blitz until it is pureed.
- Place small batches of the cucumber ribbons between your hands and give them a good squeeze. You’ll be amazed at how much water comes out!
- In a small mixing bowl, coat the broccoli with 2 tbsp of avocado dressing.
- Place the rest of the avocado at the bottom of a large bowl.
- Roll the cucumber ribbons and place them standing in one spot in the bowl.
- Continue adding the vegetables to fill the bowl. Place the snow pea sprouts stalk first, followed by the grilled courgettes, broccoli florets, broad beans and then asparagus.
- Sprinkle the salad with nigella seeds.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
- You can create 4 small bowls or 2 small bowls for your guests if you don’t want to use one large bowl.
- You can substitute the broad beans with edamame or peas.
- You can substitute broccoli with cauliflower.
- You can substitute snow pea sprouts with broccoli sprouts or alfalfa.
- You can replace nigella seeds with black sesame seeds.
- If you’re not a fan of coriander, you can use flat-leaf parsley.
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