This is loosely based on a recipe in an old Sainsbury’s magazine. It’s an unusual idea — a kind of cross between salad and gratin, pretty and refreshing — a good light summer lunch or starter. You may vary the ingredients depending on what you have.
500 g small new potatoes
200 g shelled broad beans (fresh or frozen)
1/2 small bulb of fennel, cut into small dice
about 8 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
about 1/4 of a reblochon cheese
100 g prosciutto or Serrano ham
chopped fresh herbs of your choice (parsley, chives, marjoram …)
1 tbs white wine or cider vinegar
1 tbs groundnut oil
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
Shake the dressing ingredients in a jar and set aside. Have ready a warmed bowl and a shallow ovenproof dish. Boil the scraped or peeled potatoes until just tender, about 10 minutes.
The original recipe insisted that you should remove the little inner skin from the broad beans. You can do this if you want, but personally I like the earthy flavour of the skin, so I usually leave it on — it has to be said the bright green inner beans do look nicer though! In any case, cook the beans till just tender, drain and refresh under cold water (this is the point where you can slip them out of their skins if you want).
Slice the reblochon thinly, leaving the rind on (if you can’t find reblochon, the original recipe used taleggio. You basically want a softish, easily melted cheese that doesn’t go stringy). Slice the ham crossways into thin strips. Preheat the grill.
As soon as the potatoes are cooked, drain them and toss in the bowl with the dressing. Then add all the other vegetables and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the gratin dish, lay the slices of reblochon over the top, and sprinkle with the strips of ham. Put under a hot grill for 3-4 minutes until the cheese has melted and run down into the salad, and the ham has started to crisp. Sprinkle with herbs and serve right away.