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Harvest your Broad Beans
 
Spring is here and we have broad beans everywhere!  What a treat!
We picked and podded the first few young beans, steamed them lightly and ate them with butter, salt and pepper.  Yum.
Now with hundreds more beans on the tall stalks, we’re looking for some simple creative recipes to make use of these nourishing beans.
Broad beans will turn a bit floury when left on the stalks as the weather heats up but they are still packed with nutrition.  So don’t let them go to waste.
 
They partner well with peas, lemon juice and garlic.
 
Broad Bean Salad
Ingredients
  • 1 ½  cups shelled broad beans
  • 2 tbs pecorino or parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • finely grated zest of ½ lemon
  • juice of ½ lemon (or more to taste)
  • ½ garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small tbs chopped fresh mint
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Method
  1. Separate the broad beans into 2 piles – big and small.  Try for about 1 cup large beans and ½ cup small beans.
  2. Drop the big ones into boiling water for 1 minute and then put them aside to cool down. Pop them out of their shells when they’re cool enough to handle. 
  3. Place the blanched broad beans into a food processor with the garlic, lemon zest, juice, salt and pepper and olive oil, and process just until it forms a roughly chopped mash.  Or mash it all with a fork.
  4. Tip the mixture into a bowl and mix in the small raw beans, the cheese, and the mint. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  5. Decorate with extra mint, ripped up and scattered over the top.
Serve the beans with cubes of avocado (or ham or crispy bacon for non-vegetarians).
This is delicious served on toasted sourdough rye bread spread with some goat chees and topped with pea sprouts.
 
Broad beans with paprika, mint and yoghurt
Ingredients:
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 400g podded fresh broad beans
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 100ml thick plain yoghurt
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
Method:
  1. Roast the capsicum in a hot oven, turning occasionally, until the skin starts to blister.  Remove from oven, put it in a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to cool.  When cool enough to handle, peel off the skin, discard the stem and seeds, and chop the flesh into small dice.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan and fry the onion over a medium heat for 2 minutes.  Add the garlic, cumin and mustard seeds and fry gently for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, half of the paprika and broad beans and simmer for 5 – 10 minutes more until the beans are tender.  Add a little stock or water if necessary to keep the dish moist.  Take the pan off the heat and leave it to cool for a few minutes.
  4. Stir in the roasted capsicum, mint, the other half of the paprika and the yoghurt.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve warm

Broad beans and peas with cream and garlic
 

Ingredients:

  • 30ml olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • Splash white wine
  • 4 cups broad beans, podded, boiled, then skins removed
  • 1½ cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 120ml cream
  • 30g butter
  • 1 handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, picked and torn
  • 1 handful finely grated parmesan
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  1. In a medium pan over a medium heat, heat oil and cook garlic and thyme for one minute until fragrant.
  2. Add wine and simmer for 20 seconds then add broad beans, peas, cream, butter and parsley and bubble until butter is melted.
  3. Throw in parmesan at the last minute, season with salt and pepper and serve
 
Garlic spinach and broad beans on sesame and tamari rice
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup podded fresh broad beans
  • 1 tbs sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, sliced
  • Minced fresh chilli to taste
  • 1 cup shredded fresh spinach
  • 1 – 2 tsp Tamari soy sauce
  • A handful of spinach
  • Cooked hot rice to serve
Method:
  1. Throw broad beans into boiling water, cook for 2 minutes, drain, cool and peel off the skins.
  2. Heat sunflower and sesame oil, sauté the garlic and chilli gently in the oil over low heat until fragrant, add the spinach and sauté for 1 minute until it wilts. Season then stir through the broad beans.
  3. Serve the garlic spinach and broad beans over hot rice, drizzle with extra sesame oil, tamari and freshly chopped coriander.
Variations:
  • Add a softly poached or fried egg to the top of the dish.
  • Add other cooked vegetables into the spinach
  • Use bok choy instead of spinach 
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