Broad bean bash

Well you either love ’em or you hate ’em.  I love ’em.  Broad beans.

Early pickings in the spring – steamed in their pods till just tender. Two minutes will do.

Or if you have some time on your hands – maybe The Archers Omnibus on Sunday morning or World Music on Radio 3 in the afternoon – remove from the pod and blanche in boiling water for just a minute. Then refresh with very cold water. After 5 minutes, remove all the husks (the chooks will love them).  At this stage you can  cover and use later in the day to stir into a rich risotto base, enlivened with Pernod, chopped flatleaf parsley and mint and then fold in a good handful of grated parmesan and a knob of butter to make it glisten.  Risotto should be loose, with some liquid still visible. In our house it is eaten with a spoon and a slurp.

Alternatively, treat the beans in the same way as when you prepared for the risotto – blanche and de-husk – but instead make the most gorgeous green bean hummus.  First eaten at Jan’s house with toasted ciabatta years ago it was a never to be forgotten experience.  Have ready plenty of de-husked beans, then slug some good olive oil in a pan and a couple of cloves of crushed garlic (easiest way to mush up the garlic is to use a Microplane – but watch your fingers), add the beans, season with seasalt and black pepper then take off the heat and mash with a fork. You are looking for a combination of soft mush but with chunks of bean.  There’s something about mint and broad beans that is a marriage made in heaven.  Throw in some chopped mint and a squeeze of lemon to keep it fresh.  Toast some ciabatta or sourdough and pile on a plate. Put the dish of bean-hummus in the middle of the table and dig in – serving extra lemon on the side and maybe – just maybe – some chilli oil.

A tiny concession to the carnivores here………..  quickly cook some chopped Chorizo. When I’ve not been able to stock up at Brindisa, I get mine from The Chilli Company in Mendlesham.  Theirs is a big hearty chunky chorizo with plenty of paprika and a slight acid edge. Its really robust. Anyway. I digress.  Chop the chorizo into chunks and throw into a hot pan with olive oil and garlic.  Turn the chorizo round in the pan till it catches, then throw in a couple of finely chopped tomatoes. Stand back, it will sizzle!  When the juice of the tomatoes hits the oil and the chorizo it makes a gorgeous juice. Add small broad beans and cook for two minutes.  Serve with a large glass of red, chunks of bread to mop up the juice, maybe a chunk of Manchego.  Even better with good friends and hot sunshine. Salud!

I'd love to hear your comments and suggestions, reply here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.