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Recipes: Beef up a summer salad with bread

My pea pods have been producing all summer

My pea pods have been producing all summer

Bread doesn’t have to mean sandwiches and breakfast toast. As these Nigel Slater recipes show, bread can make a summer salad more substantial or make a side dish more filling.

His ‘Salad of peas, beans and bread’ is an unusual combination and the perfect dish if the usual leafy salad doesn’t quite satisfy or fill you. I have most of the ingredients growing in my garden but both the peas and beans are in season at the moment and I have seen the fresh variety available in fruit and vegetable shops.

‘Roast tomatoes with crumbs and thyme’ makes a quick and easy snack and can also be served as a main course. Not everyone likes anchovies but I think this controversial little fish brings this recipe together. Delicious.

Salad of peas, beans and bread

Serves 4 as a light salad


  • 600g Peas in the pod
  • Broad beans in the pod – 3 large handfuls
  • A lemon
  • Flat leaf parsley – 6 or 7 bushy sprigs
  • Mint – 5 bushy sprigs
  • Olive oil
  • A clove of garlic
  • White bread – 2 thick slices
  • To finish, extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Put a deep pan of water on to boil and salt it lightly. Pod the peas and the beans. Drop the beans into the boiling water, leave them for 2 minutes, then add the peas. As soon as both are tender, drain and refresh in a colander under the cold tap.
  2. Cut the peel from the lemon using a small sharp knife. Slide the knife between each piece of white membrane and remove the segments of lemon. Put the lemon and any escaping juice into a bowl. Remove the leaves from the parsley and mint sprigs, chop roughly – they should be quite large for this – and add to the lemon.
  3. Warm a shallow layer of olive oil in a frying pan, squash the garlic clove flat, then add to the pan with the bread torn into rough chunks, and cook until golden. Drain on kitchen paper and scatter with salt.
  4. Put the beans and peas into the bowl with the lemon and herbs, tip in the bread, then trickle over some of your bright, fruity olive oil.

Roast tomatoes with crumbs and thyme

Serves 4 as a side dish, 2 as a main


  • 6 large tomatoes
  • Thyme, a few bushy sprigs
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic – 2 cloves
  • 80g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 6 anchovy fillets


  1. Set the oven at 180℃/Gas 4. Slice the tomatoes in half and lay them cut-side up in a shallow baking dish or roasting tin. Remove the thyme leaves from their stems and put them in a small mixing bowl with 80ml olive oil. Peel and finely crush the garlic cloves and stir into the olive oil with a generous grinding of sea salt and black pepper.
  2. Stir the breadcrumbs into the olive oil with the anchovy fillets. You can chop them or leave them whole. Spoon over the tomatoes and bake for 40 minutes or so until the tomatoes are tender and the crumbs are lightly crisp.

One Comment

  1. Gorgeous. Don’t know about you, though, but my peapods only appear in little batches of twos and threes, so I never quite get enough for a full meal. They’re just picked straight off the plant and scoffed!