I’m feeling a bit wistful as the broad beans are nearly over for the year. They’ve been the roaring success of my nascent potager and they’ve had a good innings. I planted three batches in succession in one bed. As the garden was so new I’d obviously not been able to plant any in the autum so the centre third of the be were some module grown plants that I picked up at the local garden centre – I think they were Aquadulce Claudia. They went in at the beginning of April. At the same time I sewed Masterpiece Green Longpod in the third closest to the fence, from Thompson & Morgan. The packet said they were the fastest growing broad bean and also a good flavour. About three weeks later, I sewed a more compact variety The Sutton, closest to the path. The idea being to give me as long a season to harvest as possible.
The Sutton have been particularly beautiful, the shape of their leaves and their more compact habit stops them from looking straggly at the end of the season, and their silvery grey leaves are a great backdrop for some of the dark sweet peas. Also, they seem to have been less prone to blackfly than the Masterpiece Green Longpod.
I could eat broad beans in one way or another at every meal without getting bored with them, but this recipe found on p99 of Nigel Slater’s Tender Volume I has been my stand out favourite of the summer so far (for a similar recipe see here) . It’s amazingly simple and delicious and a good way to use up beans that have got a bit too big. Another bonus is that you don’t need to take the skins off.
Broad bean hummous
Broad beans – As many as you can be bothered to shell at the time, say 15 pods?
Mint – four or five sprigs, leaves taken off stems
Extra Virgin Olive oil – a glug
Lemon – juice of 1/2 – 1 depending on size
Boil the broad beans until tender – the bigger the bean the longer it will take but between 5-10 mins. Drain. Add all the ingredients to a liquidiser or put in a tall container and use a Bamix blender. Blend. Add more olive oil and/or lemon juice to get the right consistency.
Today I ate it with pitta and crudites of Little Gem, carrot and spring onion – which I pulled at random as I wandered through the garden.