I love the way that the group congregates around the bowl when shelling broad beans… I always feel like we’re old Italian nonnas, standing there gossiping… so I will often start the conversation with the kids talking about the signorina at number 38 and whether she will marry your son Giuseppe, and if that will please Frederico at number 45 or whether Frederico himself likes the signora at number 70, and why Maria at number 20 has bought a few extra goats and a new hair scarf…
Fresh from the garden: broad beans, rocket, garlic, thyme, marjoram
Recipe source: Melissa
Serves: 8 at home or 24 tastes
What to do:
- Fill the saucepan with water & set to boil with the lid on. Heat the grill.
- Pod the broad beans into the medium bowl and put the outer shells into the compost.
- Cut the lemon in half and juice one half only.
- Slice the bread loaf down the middle, and then into slices. Place on grill trays, ready for grilling.
- Wash and dry the herbs and pick from stems, finely chop. Grate the pecorino into the small bowl. Fill the big bowl with cold water.
- When the water is boiling, drop all the broad beans in with a teaspoon of cooking salt and put the lid back on to bring back to the boil quickly. Boil for 3 minutes with lid off.
- Then drain the broad beans into the colander & then immediately refresh in the bowl of cold water. Drain again & wipe the big bowl dry.
- Double-pod the broad beans into the big bowl, discarding the outer skin into the compost.
- Pound the broad beans with the pestle in the mortar with the olive oil & a pinch of salt (you may have to do this in 2 batches) until smooth – a few beanie lumps are fine!
- Stir in the lemon juice bit by bit, tasting – and the grated pecorino and herbs with a grind of pepper into the broad bean mixture. Taste again for seasoning.
- Slide the bread into the oven to grill & lightly toast, turning when needed & watching to make sure it doesn’t burn.
- When ready bring toast out from the grill. Cut the end off the garlic cloves and rub each cut-side down on the toast a few times.
- Spread a little broad bean paste onto each slice of toast & arrange onto serving plates with a good grind of pepper.
Notes: What does ‘double-pod’ mean? Why do we do this to the broad beans? What other name are broad beans known by?