Posts tagged ‘broad’

April 11, 2012

Today’s lunch: Broad bean, radish and parmesan salad

It hasn’t known whether it was winter, spring or summer today. Today’s delivery of a veg box, however, proclaimed that the sun must shine and brought us broad beans, a luscious lettuce and bright pink radishes among its many treats.

I fully admit that when we receive radishes in a veg box they often wilt for a week in the fridge and get thrown. I don’t know why, because a radish is a lovely little thing that can add a peppery bit of zip, crunch and warmth to many a plate of food. Rather than let them go to waste this week, I decided to use them straight away in a simple salad.

First, de-pod the broad beans and simmer them in a small pan for four minutes. Once drained, let them cool for a couple of minutes before slipping the bright green beans from their tougher outer skins and set aside.

Next, top and tail the radishes with a sharp knife and half them lengthways before giving them a quick rinse. Next, melt a little butter in a large frying pan and add the radishes, turning them once in a while until they just start to brown at the edges. Add the broad beans and cook for one more minute.

While the radishes are cooking, roughly chop some sturdy salad leaves (gem or rocket, for example, will both do fine) and dress them with a little olive oil and lemon vinaigrette. Place the leaves in the bottom of shallow bowls then add the radishes and beans. Top with shavings of a good parmesan or pecorino.

It almost feels like summer.

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August 8, 2011

Recipe: Brown rice, courgettes and mint

On first glance I thought this recipe, here, for brown rice, courgettes and mint had two things going against it.

First, as you might have realised, I don’t always trust Nigel Slater’s cooking. Amongst other things, I often feel he misses a trick and rejects obvious ways to pep up his food in favour of his own nostalgia-filled peccadilloes.

Second, I firmly believe anything you might want to call ‘risotto’ should be made with a proper risotto rice.

So, this recipe fails twice before we’re even off. But… it looks rather nice. Nutty, summery, rustic, with a hint of old-skool veggie health food that suddenly looks almost vogueish. I think we’ll try it.

June 26, 2011

Last Night’s Dinner: Fricasee of mushroom, broad bean, new potato and asparagus

Saturday 11 June

We invented this dish as a result of wanting to bring three in-season ingredients together in one dish: asparagus, broad beans and lovely baby Jersey Royal new potatoes. Simple, with the addition of some lightly cooked button mushrooms and some careful arranging on the plate. It really does look so fresh and vibrant with the joys of early summer that it deserves some TLC as you’re plating up to capture the glorious colours and make each mouthful a true representation of the dish.

You’ll no doubt know how to cook each of the ingredients here and with this dish they remain cooked separately and only brought together on the plate. So, first, get your new potatoes boiling (slice in half any that are larger than a mouthful). You’ll want about 7 or 8 small potatoes per person. Then boil a couple handfuls of podded broad beans for three minutes. Drain and slip the little green beans out of their withered outer cases. Set aside. Now steam four asparagus spears per person until they’re just about tender, chop into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Finally, fry a few mushrooms per person in a little olive oil with a finely chopped clove of garlic. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon as they’re frying. When they’re nearly done, add a little single cream, mix in, season, mix again and take off the heat.

With the potatoes done, plate up quickly. Start with the largest items (potatoes) and leave the smallest (broad beans) to last, making sure to intersperse each item attractively around the plate. And there, you’re done.

One last tip – it’s really important not to overcook a thing on this plate. A plate of grey slop just won’t cut it.

Eat and enjoy. We did!

May 6, 2011

Last Night’s Dinner: Ful with hummous

Monday 2 May

Ful is the Egyptian dish of crushed broad (fava) beans with cumin and garlic. It’s often eaten at breakfast but actually enjoyed at any time of the day. The version Ella made was again inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s book Plenty (see previous post). He warns that it might not look like much but is actually rather filling. And so it should be – a big pile of herby broad beans on a bed of warm, homemade hummous and and an egg on top. That’s one big plate of protein and a rich mix too. There’s something about beans, olive oil and herbs that is heartening – ETP’s butter beans and feta recipe does a similar trick to this. Good old Ottolenghi.

Recipe? There’s a wealth of them for Ful out there, but try this one here and adapt to your liking.

April 24, 2011

Recipe: Broad bean and herb salad

Funny old things, broad beans. And a little frustrating too. The discrepancy in volume between their fully podded selves and the individual, edible bean is huge. I’ve heard some people complain that they don’t like oranges because peeling them is too much effort. If you’re one of those people, then you’re going to miss out on the wonders of fresh, in-season broad beans. We love them. Of course, frozen, de-podded broad beans are available, but somehow the effort of removing the beans from the pods, blanching them in boiling water for a couple of minutes and then slipping the bright green beans from their skins can be all part of the pleasure.

In any case, when broad beans start turning up in recipes for salads in the weekend papers, then you know it’s definitely spring and almost the beginning of summer. This Yotam Ottolenghi recipe, here, adds pearl barley to a salad of broad beans and herbs – a nutty addition that also makes for a more substantial salad.