Broad beans – those lanky plants with pods stuffed with knobbly beans – are one of my favourite vegetables. I love their vibrant freshness alongside peppery nasturtium and mint, which all work fantastically with a quality pork chop and the salty, garlicky richness of bagna cauda.
1kg broad beans, podded (to yield about 500g loose beans)
1 garlic clove, chopped
¾ cup frozen peas, thawed under hot water
½ bunch mint, picked and roughly chopped
4 x 300g mid-loin pork chops, skin removed, fat cut at 1cm intervals, at room temperature
2 garlic cloves, skin on, smashed
½ bunch sage, leaves picked
2 handfuls nasturtium leaves and flowers
For the bagna cauda
7 anchovies, chopped
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
15 grinds black pepper (or 6 freshly ground black peppercorns)
1 tbsp warm water
1. Blanch the broad beans for 3 minutes in simmering water. Lift out and immediately refresh in a bowl of cold or iced water.
2. Double-pod the broad beans, keeping any tiny ones un-podded for garnish, as well as a small handful of podded ones. Chop the rest roughly.
3. Add the chopped garlic clove, some salt and freshly ground black pepper and a splash of extra-virgin olive oil to a mortar and grind to a paste. Add the chopped broad beans, peas and mint and pound to a rough paste, adding a little oil to loosen if needed, but it should be on the stiff side. Season to taste.
4. For the bagna cauda, add all the ingredients except the water to a small saucepan. Warm for 3 minutes over low heat to melt the anchovies and take the rawness off the garlic, then add the water.
5. Season the chops and coat with oil. Heat a large frying pan over high heat for 2 minutes, then add the chops. Cook for 4 minutes, then flip and add the smashed garlic cloves and butter and cook for 6 minutes. With 2 minutes to go, add the sage. Plate the chops, spooning over the crisp sage.
6. Spoon the bean and pea salad on each plate, scatter over the reserved broad beans, then top with small nasturtium leaves and flowers and a squeeze of lemon. Spoon some bagna cauda over the salad and chops and serve with remaining extra bagna cauda on the side.