Springtime broad beans, or fava beans, are one of the oldest known cultivated crops, dating back to 6000 BC and the diets of ancient Romans, Greeks, and settlers of the Mediterranean. Now widely eaten around the world, broad beans are enjoyed raw, cooked or dried in a range of cuisines.
Shelling from their velvety pods and preparing these beans takes time, but this can be done beforehand, and there’s much to be said for slowing down, contemplating and connecting with our food. There is a good reason chefs and foodies hunt out broad beans during their short season; fresh beans are delicate, nutty and buttery in flavour and provide a beautiful light green hue to a menu.
Oh, the shades of lush spring greens- broad beans, snow peas, pea shoots, tender lettuce, sorrel- like a painter's pallet in a study of that bursting seasonal colour.
This week I paired the nutty green of smashed broad beans with the creamy green of avocado, topped and set against the flavour of charred sweet snow peas, all heaped atop grilled bread. It makes for a delicious snack or appetizer in smaller portions, or a full meal. My partner, who diligently samples everything I make, said it’s one of the best things he’s tasted this week- and he’s tasted quite a lot.
Broad Beans - as much as you receive in your box
2 teaspoon Olive Oil
Snow Peas - as much as you receive in your box
2 small Red Onion
Sea Salt, to taste
Red Pepper Flakes, to taste
Fresh Coriander, to garnish
4-6 slices Sourdough Loaf
The How To:
The only real work for this recipe is in preparing the broad beans. First remove them from their outer pods. Place beans in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes, then immediately drain and cover in ice cold water. This will make the process of removing the outer skins of the bean far easier. Pop the little beans from their skins to reveal the delicate and vibrant green inners.
Place beans and avocados in a bowl along with lemon juice and salt. Mash it all up and set aside.
Heat a cast iron pan over medium to high heat, add oil, then chopped red onion and snow peas. Cook for around 2 minutes, until the bottoms begin to char, then flip and cook again for another 2 minutes.
Toast or grill sourdough. Spread with broad bean and avocado mix, then top with snow peas. Dust with sea salt, pepper flakes, chopped coriander and an extra squeeze of lemon juice.
-The amounts are fairly adaptable to what you have on hand. Ours made enough to feed two hungry adults and one baby who expects nibbles. Approved by all.
- When broad bean season has gone you could substitute green peas for a different but still tasty avocado mash up.
Created by Elena Keir of Naked Cakes & Wholefoods