I am sure you will know what I mean when I tell you that I grew up with broad beans – by the truck load. Being a country girl we grew our veggies and broad beans are so very easy to grow. And so very prolific. I hated them.
We used to boil the ^*&*%* out of them, and serve them up in a mess of grey-green mush. Appetising!
I tried again when I was growing my own veggies, but, well, I could not get over the taste. There was only one or two ways I could bear to eat them.
So when Cook Anything Once lately had a post on broad beans and how you should peel them – well it was a revolution for me. So on Saturday at the Organic Veggie shop at the Central Market I picked up a few.
I dug out the old recipe from my old web site.
I blanched and peeled those broad beans according to Cook Anything Once’s instructions.
I made the chunky pate.
What a difference a peel makes!
Cook Anything Once says:
Broad beans are one of those vegetables that seem to suffer the curse of being overcooked. The key to their enjoyment is a two step process. First, briefly blanch the podded beans in boiling water – between 30 seconds and a minute will be more than enough.
Drain them immediately and then peel away the thick outer skin to reveal the tender deep green beans. It is fiddly but well worth the effort as soon as you taste that sweet hidden jewel.
Unfortunately people will still boil the beans until that outer skin is tender, a process that destroys the character of the bean.When you take a close look at that outer skin you can see just how thick it is – why would you want to eat it?
Broad and Butter Bean Mash
I first made this in 1998. I said it was yummy then – I still think it is yummy now. The horseradish gives it a bit of a kick. You could use chilli instead. Also, I think that some tahini mixed in with this would go well, giving it a measure of creaminess.
Source : from my original, ancient Food_Matters site
Cuisine: maybe Italian?
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 1 min
Serves: 4 – 8 people, depending how you use it
300 grams of cooked cannelloni beans (butter beans) – a can of butter beans is Ok to use
100 g shelled broad beans (use young beans – if the shelled beans are white in colour, they are too old)
0.5 medium onion
sea salt and black pepper, freshly ground
4 Tblspn good extra virgin olive oil
1 – 2 heaped tspn horseradish, to suit your taste
juice and rind of 1 lime or 0.5 lemon
splash verjuice, optional
2 Tblspn chopped parsley
1 clove garlic
Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor, seasoning well. You can process a little, and leave the mash nice and chunky, or you can process until smooth and creamy. If it becomes too thick while processing, add a little more oil or warm water.
- Serve on toast, bruschetta, or crusty bread. And with some good cheddar cheese and olives.
- Or use some crackers and serve as a dip.
- Char-grill some eggplant slices, and serve, layered with the mash and accompanied by a green salad.
- Accompany a plate of roast vegetables with the mash.
- Drop a Tblspn in the centre of a bowl of creamy soup.
Enjoy. Eat. Yum.
More Broad Bean Information
- Fava beans
- Faba beans
- Horse beans
Broad beans are synonymous with spring, with their presence so fleeting. Here in Australia, that is from September through October. It is one of the few true seasonal vegetables.
Catch them when harvested young and sweet, as towards the end of their season they can become very mealy. They have a flat, fur-lined pod enclosing seeds that are used in soups, purees, stews, salads, stir-fries and combined with rice and pasta.
Broad beans have been grown since ancient times, indigenous to Europe and a key source of sustenance in the Levant, Middle East and Mediterranean.
Unfortunately some people have a condition called favism,an allergy to raw broad beans that leads to anaemia and can render them toxic. Cooked broad beans do not have this reaction.
Buying and Storing Broad Beans
Choose crisp, moist and smaller (younger) beans whose pods are not bulging and do not have any spots and are not limp. They can be stored in the fridge for 2 or 3 days.
Cooking and Eating
As a rule, 1kg of whole broad beans yields about 350gm shelled beans.
Remove the beans from the pod and cook in boiling water for 3 minutes. Peel the pale skins to reveal the green bean. You can add the pods of the broad beans to the water while cooking them to intensify the broad bean flavour.
Eat simply drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, or in spring-inspired salads.
Sprinkle with sea salt and eat as a snack with a beer.
For a pilaf, cook moghrabieh (large grain couscous) with saffron and vege stock. Then toss through blanched and peeled broad beans until heated through. Drain the moghrabieh and beans, stir through green coriander (cilantro), lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil.
Toss blanched, peeled broad beans with orrechiette, chilli, flat leafed parsley and extra virgin olive oil with shaved pecorino.
Braise, french style, in dry white wine with cos lettuce hearts, peas and spring onions.
Chop mint leaves and small spring onions finely, mash with some cooked and peeled broad beans. Add sea salt and black pepper, and the lemon juice. Spread toast with ricotta cheese and top with the broad bean mash.
Read some More:
- Food Blogga has a wonderful Crostini with Fava Bean and Dill
- Rosa Jackson has a wonderful Fava Bean Gnocchi. If you use an Italian semolina flour you can leave out the egg.
People are saying:
- Authentic Threads has a fascinating post on foods that cause or prevent skin wrinkling as you grow older. Thankfully, beans are a great food and she links to this post: