Monday, August 27, 2018

"Beginning of summer" Broad Bean Ciabatta

Broad Beans in Season
Lynne increased her likelihood of acquiring carpal tunnel syndrome recently by depodding over 5 kilos of fresh broad beans, but it is so worth it. Despite the black fingernails which persist for weeks, we so love eating these ‘once a year’ seasonal beans. Many people are asking why we can’t have them readily available throughout the year, frozen like peas, as they are in Europe and America. Perhaps this is something local farmers could grow as a winter crop? Ours came from a wine estate, where they are grown between the vines as a cover crop whose roots put nitrogen into the soil. The plants will now be ploughed into the soil as compost, but the beans can be a viable crop and they are not difficult to pick, as we discovered. We steam them in a closed dish in the microwave for one and a half minutes, then take them out of their skins and eat immediately, but they are good in other dishes. This is our favourite way to eat them
400g depodded and skinned cooked broad beans – 6 to 8 large slices of ciabatta bread – garlic – 2 T good olive oil – juice of half a lemon– 1 T fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped – sea salt and ground black pepper - parmesan cheese.

Lightly toast the bread on both sides then give one side a light brush with the cut edge of a clove of garlic. Mash the beans roughly with the oil, mint, lemon and seasoning. Spread onto the bread slices, roughly grate over the cheese and serve as a light snack or as a starter

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