Katie from Thyme for Cooking is our host for this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging.
Though I'm forsaking the liver and a nice chianti I am taking a closer look at Fava Beans or as they are also known, Broad Beans
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 10 seconds and 30 seconds 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?
So if you are like Paalo and thought they didn't like broad beans then perhaps you too will be converted when they are cooked in this manner.
Today's recipe is all about enjoying the fresh taste of broad beans and I am teaming them with another favourite, peas. As it's now spring here, the peas are really coming into season and also need the barest of cooking to experience them at their best.
Presented as a topping for bruschetta, the combination of smashed broad beans and peas combined with fresh goat's curd, just screams freshness.
Broad Bean, Pea and Goat Cheese Bruschetta
freshly podded broad beans
freshly podded peas
fresh goats curd
freshly ground salt and white pepper
ciabatta bread, sliced thickly
garlic clove, peeled
Put a pot of water onto boil and when boiling add the broad beans. Blanch for less than a minute - if your beans are on the small size then cut down the time to 30 seconds. Use a spider to remove the beans from the pot. You can then add the peas and boil them for a minute - drain them immediately.
Now the boring bit begins - pop the broad beans from their skin.
Put half the podded broad beans and half the peas into a mortar, grind over with a little salt and white pepper and pound until roughly crushed. Add enough fresh goats curd to form a sticky paste then add the remaining peas and broad beans - fold through until just combined.
Cut the Ciabatta into thick slices, brush with a little olive oil and cook over a hot grill. When one side has developed ridge marks, flip over and repeat with the other side.
Rub one side of the hot bread with the garlic clove - this gives it a lovely delicate hint of garlic. Top with a good mound of beans and serve immediately.
Tagged with Weekend Herb Blogging