A quick and simple salad using preserved artichokes, which are obtainable from good Italian delis, and convenient frozen broad beans, which are lightly cooked until tender. It can be served as a starter, as a side dish to lamb dishes or as a light lunch with some crusty bread.

Serves 2-4

Prep time 10 minutes


100 g frozen shelled broad (fava) beans
20 g pine nuts
150 g artichoke hearts preserved in oil, drained
2 handfuls of rocket (arugula)
30 g Parmesan, shaved

For the dressing:

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
juice of ½ lemon
sea salt, to taste


Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil over a medium heat, add the broad beans, bring back to the boil and cook for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat and toast the pine nuts for about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Drain the cooked broad beans in a colander, then rinse them under a cold running tap to cool them down and drain well. Place the beans in a bowl, together with the artichokes, rocket, cooled pine nuts and Parmesan shavings.

Combine the dressing ingredients, pour over the salad, mix well and serve.

Recipes from Fast Cook Italian by Gennaro Contaldo, published by Pavilion Books. Image credit to Kim Lightbody.