HOW TO SUR­VIVE A GLUT OF... BROAD BEANS

NZ Gardener - Garden Diary 2018 - - Crop Of The Month -

BROAD BEANS are a pro­lific crop, so it’s lucky they freeze bril­liantly. Blanch in salted boil­ing wa­ter for 100 sec­onds. Drain, then plunge into a sink of cold wa­ter to stop the cook­ing process. Drain, pat dry and freeze in zip-lock bags or freezer-com­pat­i­ble con­tain­ers.

Or try PITA BREAD & BROAD BEAN FALAFEL. This Mid­dle Eastern dish is a good lunch­box so­lu­tion. Falafel freezes well, cooked or not. Makes 8 or so.

INGREDIENTS • 300g cooked broad beans • 1 can chick­peas • 1 small onion, diced and cooked in olive oil un­til clear • 3 cloves gar­lic, finely chopped • ½ cup fresh flat leaf pars­ley • ½ tea­spoon ground cu­min • ¼ cup chopped fresh co­rian­der • 3 ta­ble­spoons flour • salt to taste

METHOD To make the falafel, put all the ingredients into a food pro­ces­sor and blitz to form a chunky paste or mash in a big bowl. Form into pat­ties then shal­low or deep fry. Serve in toasted pita breads with the fol­low­ing dress­ing and mixed salad leaves. For the dress­ing, com­bine 1 cup plain unsweet­ened yo­ghurt with 1 finely chopped gar­lic clove, a squeeze of lemon juice, a hand­ful of chopped fresh mint, and salt and pepper. You can up­grade this dish by adding sun­dried toma­toes, feta cheese and olives to the pita bread too.

For a tasty side or main, make BROAD BEAN & LENTIL SALAD WITH CHORIZO. Use smoked chorizo to add zing to beans and lentils. Serves 4

INGREDIENTS • 200g smoked chorizo, sliced • ex­tra vir­gin olive oil • 1 clove gar­lic, finely chopped • 1 small onion, finely diced • 200g green Puy lentils • 300g fresh baby broad beans • 2 sticks cel­ery, sliced • 1 chicken or veg­etable stock cube • 1 tea­spoon tomato purée • a squeeze of lemon juice • a hand­ful of the pale green cel­ery leaves, chopped • a hand­ful of fresh flat leaf pars­ley

METHOD Dry fry the chorizo slices over a mod­er­ate heat. When browned on both sides, re­move from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, add a lit­tle olive oil and sweat the gar­lic and onion over a low heat un­til soft and clear. Add the lentils, broad beans, cel­ery, stock cube and tomato purée, then pour in wa­ter to cover. Sim­mer gen­tly, stir oc­ca­sion­ally, and add more wa­ter if nec­es­sary. When cooked (so the lentils are al dente), re­turn the chorizo to the pan, add the lemon juice, cel­ery leaves and pars­ley, and check the sea­son­ing. Cook un­til warm and serve in bowls.

LIN­GUINE WITH BROAD BEANS, BA­CON & MINT could not be sim­pler to make and has such an in­tense flavour. It’s healthy fast food for busy peo­ple. Serves 2

INGREDIENTS • olive oil • 1 clove gar­lic, chopped • ½ small onion, finely diced • 8 slices streaky ba­con or pancetta • 200g lin­guine • 200g cooked baby broad beans • 2 tea­spoons fresh mint, chopped • shaved Parme­san to serve

METHOD Sweat the gar­lic and onion over a low heat in a lit­tle olive oil un­til soft and clear. Add the ba­con and cook un­til crispy, then re­move the ba­con and set aside. Cook the pasta, drain, then re­turn to the pan with the gar­lic and onions. Add the beans, toss through over a mod­er­ate heat un­til steam­ing, then add the mint and ba­con slices. Serve on warm plates with the Parme­san cheese.

SLIGHTLY FANCY OP­TION • Up­grade this dish with a slosh of cream, 2 egg yolks and 4 ta­ble­spoons Parme­san. Mix, then add to the pasta with the onion and gar­lic in the pan. It will thicken slightly and make the dish creamy and deca­dent. Sea­son with black pepper and sea salt.

FAST BROAD BEAN IDEAS • Mash cooked beans with a lit­tle ex­tra vir­gin olive oil. Pile onto slices of grilled cia­batta and top with goat’s cheese and shred­ded mint. • Roughly mash cooked beans with ex­tra vir­gin olive oil, then spread on a pizza base, top with fresh moz­zarella and heat un­der a hot grill for two min­utes. Serve with a side of chunky tomato salsa. • Per­haps not such a fast idea, but a great op­tion for ex­cess beans. Dry them. De­hy­drated, salted broad beans make a nu­tri­tious snack. If you don’t have an ac­tual de­hy­dra­tor, sim­ply lay the beans out on a tray, sea­son well and bake in a 50ºc oven un­til crunchy. Broad beans take flavour­ings well when dried, so try your favourites, such as chilli, horse­rad­ish, wasabi or Indian spices.

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