Sweet potato and Parmesan seem, to me at least, a match made in culinary heaven. Definitely ‘fusion food’ when put together (Italians aren’t known for using sweet potato), they carry each other – and each other’s flavours — so well. Fresh peas are one of summer’s highlights (along with swimming in a river and eating a fresh mango in the sea), but if you can’t get fresh peas then don’t feel bad about using frozen ones – often they’ll be frozen within hours of being picked, so buy a good brand and just don’t tell your guests!
Meanwhile, using a mandolin grater or a sharp knife, slice the fennel into very thin rounds. If the broad beans are large, remove their grey skin by tearing it and squeezing the green centres out; but if the beans are small and sweet, then don’t bother.
In a large bowl, mix the remaining olive oil with half the Parmesan and all of the lemon juice, then add a little salt and pepper and mix in the broad beans, peas and fennel.
Once the potato is cooked, sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over it and toss together, then divide this between 4 warmed plates. Lay the salad greens on top, then add the fennel salad last of all.
© 2005 Peter Gordon. All rights reserved.