A Pilaf of Asparagus, Broad Beans and Mint

"A wonderful buttery taste of early summer, useful way to use up the first asparagus and beans and young garden mint. From Nigel Slater's new book Tender. Use the vegetable weights as a guide, use whatever you have."
photo by a food.com user photo by a food.com user
Ready In:




  • Cook the broad beans in salted water for 4 mins, till almost tender, drain.
  • Trim asparagus into short lengths, steam for 3 mins and drain.
  • wash the rice 3 times in cold water, stiring with your hand, cover with warm water, add a tsp salt and set aside for a good hour.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the bay leaves, cardamon, peppercorns,cinnamon stick, cloves, cumin seeds and thyme. Stir in the butter for a minute or two until the fragrance is released.
  • Drain the rice and tip it into the warmed spices, cover with 1 cm depth of water and bring to the boil.Season with salt, cover and turn the heat down to a simmer.
  • Finely slice the spring onions and chop the parsley.
  • After 5 mins remove the lid and gently fold in the asparagus, beans, spring onions and parsley. Replace lid and continue to cook for 5-6 mins, until the rice is tender but still has some bite to it. All the water should have been absorbed, leave with the lid on but the heat off for 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove lid, check seasoning, add extra butter if liked and fluff with a fork sprinkle over the mint.
  • Can be served with minted yoghurt if liked.

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  1. I'm not bit on mint, so did cut that ingredient back by half (as I did with the cloves since my other half doesn't care for them), but otherwise pretty much followed the recipe! We both enjoyed this asparagus & bean combo! Licked the platter clean, so to speak, so that speaks volumes for this recipe! Thanks for sharing it! [Made & reviewed while with ZWT6]


Hello, thought I should update this page a wee bit now we have a new furbaby called Bismila as well as our beloved Maddie who is the star of the photo. I live with my husband Keir in the North East of Scotland between Inverness and Aberdeen, it is very beautiful here. My DH is a keen salmon fisherman and is in the right place to do this! I ran my own pubs and restaurants for many years until arthritis made catering just too much for me, I am 'semi' retired now and can't seem to drag myself away from this site. I have met some wonderful people here and made good friends for which I am eternally grateful. <img src="http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b399/susied214/permanent%20collection/untitled.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting"> <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w115/bugh8er/food%20and%20swaps/9dcd2f11.png" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> <img src="http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b158/bella_donata/My%20Art/Recipezaar/goldsparkle.png" border="0" alt="Made by Bella14ragazza"> <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w115/bugh8er/food%20and%20swaps/Purple-Swap-AM-Banner.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"> <img src="http://i497.photobucket.com/albums/rr336/jess4freedom/Zaar%20banners/saltpepper_amtag.jpg" border="0" alt="Salt and Pepper"> <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w115/bugh8er/Halloween/4811_180750-1.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket">
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