HOW TO SURVIVE A GLUT OF... BROAD BEANS
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.