Food and Drink
Posted by Carla Sammut
28. Nov, 2010
Like our friend asparagus, broad beans are one of spring’s little gems. Amongst the oldest of cultivated plants in the world, broad beans (also known as fava beans) have been satisfying palettes for 8000 or so years with their wonderful al dente texture and light, mealy flavour. They’re also a rich source of L-dopa, a substance used to treat Parkinson’s disease.
There’s not much to picking beans, just discard any pods or beans that are discoloured black or brown. Beans must be shelled, then steamed or blanched to remove the outer skin. It’s a little fiddly, but your patience will be rewarded with plump, fleshy beans that taste a million times better than those from a can.
Here’s a great way to enjoy the fruits of your labor: Bigilla, a Maltese broad bean dip.
4 cups of shelled broad beans
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp of fresh parsley, chopped
Juice of one lemon (or 1-2 tbsp depends on how lemony your lemons are)
Fresh chilli or chilli flakes (I used chilli oil)
A glug of olive oil to loosen it up
Shell beans from pods. Steam in a double boiler for about 3 minutes, let cool enough to handle. Shell the outer skin off the beans then mash with the remaining ingredients with a fork or masher.
follow more of Carla’s food-filled shenanigans at www.easyasveganpie.net