This isn’t a recipe that calls for exact measurements. Use however many broad beans that you may have, blanch them for two minutes in a pan of boiling water, drain and rinse with cold water. Then put them into a food processor, or a food mill, with as much garlic as you fancy, add a couple of small sprigs of mint and a glug or two of olive oil and whizz or mill into a purée. Taste and add salt and pepper and more oil if you think you need it. It’s delicious on toasted bread; bruschetta style, lovely as a dip for other veg; hummus style, or added to pasta. For the latter I added a splash of cream to loosen it up a bit and I added some slow-fried courgettes into the mix.
I had some left over yesterday and added it as a layer to a moussaka, spreading it over the aubergines. Now I admit this didn’t make for the best colour combination – a sort of murky greeny-brown, but the taste was amazing, lifting the moussaka and giving it a summery zing.
We have been having it a lot, as you can probably tell.
I haven’t always been enamoured by broad beans. When I was a child I disliked them with zeal. They seemed too bitter and fibrous and my mum always seemed to serve them with liver! But things change, and my taste buds must have done as I love them now. I can’t say the same for liver though.
We went on holiday with my parents three years ago and had these little beauties as an appetiser at a little place, suspiciously called Cafe Londres. We have eaten them often since. If I have parsley then I add it. Our parsley in the garden has now gone to seed, so tonight’s version was un-embellished. It’s delicious either way.
I like my vinaigrette with a bit of zing so I always add more lemon than is traditional, but feel free to adjust to taste.
Shelled broad beans (fava beans, I understand, are the same thing)
1 clove of garlic, crushed
juice of ½ lemon
3-4 tablespoons of good extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Make a vinaigrette by mixing together the crushed garlic, lemon juice, oil and salt and pepper and adjust to your taste (adding more oil or lemon to suit you).
Boil the broad beans for a few minutes until tender (timings will depend on the size of the bean). Drain well and run briefly under a cool tap until they are cool enough to handle and then pop the skin off the larger beans.
Add the broad beans to the vinaigrette and leave to stand for at least 30 minutes before enjoying at room temperature.
Now to the chicks part of the title. I was a little busy last week and this was the reason:
Our Black Rock, Daisy, went broody four weeks ago, so we let her sit on her eggs in a rabbit hutch. The first chick hatched on Monday and the eighth hatched on Friday. It was very exciting to go out and find yet another chick hatched under Daisy. I took each one off her after it was born and kept it warm in a box on the Aga, with a mop head as a temporary mummy and then when we were sure that no more were going to be hatched we reintroduced Daisy to her brood – and very happy about it all she is too.
I just hope they aren’t all cockerels.
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