Sunday, 15 June 2008

Broad Shoulders

Happy Father's Day hard working dedicated and loving dads of the world. I sincerely hope that you all enjoy being a dad; it is the best feeling in the world when you can make your kids happy. I'm not usually one for these corporate days of celebration for the benefit of the card making industry. That is until father's day comes along of course! So here I am, grasping my bar of 80% chocolate and Alnwick IPA which Cerys delivered to me in bed this morning. These will be snaffled in a rare moment of solitude and indulgence later on this evening. I can't wait.

Yesterday I managed to get my hands on some amazing broad beans from a neighbour. What a true treat of early summer broad beans are. I once tried and failed to grow some when I lived in Leeds. The aggressive nature of them darn Yorkshire slugs meant that it failed in a huge way. But broad beans have always been a thing of beauty to me. Fresh from the pod when they are young ensures a delicious sweet vibrant green bean. Leave them until late summer and they grow up to be slightly bland with a tough skin. So I prefer the little ones that are available right now.

They need nothing more than a 2 minute blanch in hot water then scattered amongst a salad with left over roast meats, peppery leaves, torn mozzarella and perhaps a ripped juicy peach or plum. Their delicate flavour blends perfectly with sharp lemon and mint too and if you can spend a bit of time popping a load of pods, a bowlful of steaming broad beans delivered to the table will more than impress your guests.

A simple lunch is on the cards for Cerys and I today. A few blanched and cooled beans will be tossed into a pan where I am going to quickly cook a sliced fillet of lamb and a chopped shallot. Into the mix will go a handful of roughly chopped mint, fresh lemon juice and a nob of butter which will be poured onto a slice of toast. A very easy lunch for easy-to-please dads everywhere - just like me. All the best boys.

Broad Beans, Lamb and Mint
Feeds 2

A dozen broad beans, podded
1 lamb fillet, sliced
1 shallot, sliced thinly
2 tbsp olive oil
A handful of fresh mint, roughly chopped
Juice of half a fresh lemon
A nob of butter
Salt and pepper

1 - Bring a pan of water up to the boil and add the beans. Cook for 1-2 minutes depending on how small they are. Drain and cool immediately and keep aside.
2 - Heat up the oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the shallot and lamb and briskly cook until the lamb is golden but still pink in the middle, approximately 1 minute.
3 - Throw in the beans, lemon juice, mint, butter and seasoning. Heat through for 30 seconds. Serve this on toasts or just as it is with good bread to mop up the juices.


Anonymous said...

I've managed to grow broad beans this year (last year was a wash out). The trick is to start them off in 3 inch pots somewhere slug free. Not necessarily in a greenhouse - mine were on the garden table. By the time they get potbound they're less likely to be destroyed by slugs (ravaged yes, destroyed no).
We used to grow them at home in Wales where they are called ffa (as in fava their latin name). My Granma used to love "A feed of ffa" - a bowlful of boiled broad bean with salt, pepper, butter and bread and butter on the side. I still do. I reckon the beans make up for the salt and cholestoral.

Chef Jeena said...

Broad beans are lovely. Lamb is mine and my hubbys favourite red meat so we will be eating lamb today too. This recipe sounds like a wonderful dinner. :-)

Wendy said...

Happy Father's Day, David! A lovely looking lunch.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

HAPPY FATHERS DAY DAVID!!!!Cery has spoiled you:D

Jan said...

My step-dad back in England used to grow broad beans, they were delicious. I've never seen them over here though.

We're growing some pole beans, which are a bit like runner beans, they're rather nice too.

Lamb is a fave of mine, but in Oklahoma it's as rare as hens teeth.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Aw - the blessings of being a dad!

I agree with you entirely about not overdoing broad beans. They need so little time to cook, especially when they're young and very tender.

My favourite way to have them is on sourdough toast which has been rubbed with garlic. I then fry off some lardons, add the cooked beans, some mint and basil - and tip onto the toast. Fab!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you had a happy father's day David. This simple lunch looks lovely. I can't get enough of broad beans at the moment.

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

What a lovely dad you are ! You deserved your chocolate :)

Hannah said...

This just looks so lovely - I could eat a plate of it right now and its only 8.30

The H.I. said...

Dave, I really like this idea. Anything on toast is good. A posh beans on toast from when I was younger.

Ed Bruske said...

David, I've been binging on "broad beans" (aka fava) over here lately. I tried them very young, before they developed the tough casing, and they tasted unripe to me. I wonder how you tell when the perfect time to pick them is.

Anonymous said...

My veggie box arrived on Tuesday with a bag of broad beans. Hmm, what to cook with them... then I read your blog and hey presto! I cooked them last night with new potatoes on the side... so good, I'm going to have to get more beans at the weekend and make it again! Thanks so much :)


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