Bash them, smash them and use as you will: 2 great ways of serving young, tender broad beans. The first is almost a pesto – but lumpier and the second uses the beans as a base for humus (which you can make with any beans or starchy root veg). Quantities are not given – you just make what you feel like – I hope that is not too unhelpful? And I very often make both of these tapas with defrosted (once-frozen) broad beans from the supermarket.
Print the recipes here.
Broad bean bash
This uses raw broad beans.
• Young broad beans
• Garlic – the fresh garlic around now is perfect
• Fresh chillies, or chilli flakes
• Parmesan cheese
• Extra virgin olive oil
1. Slip the beans from their pods and inner skins. It’s a fiddle but really worthwhile and therapeutic, once you are in the zone. Peel the garlic, seed and finely chop fresh chillies and finely grate some Parmesan.
2. Bash everything together in a pestle and mortar, season well and add olive oil at the end to make a thick paste to use on crostini or as a dip. You can add more oil and use the mixture as a salad dressing or on fish fillets, chicken breasts or steaks.
Broad bean humus
All you need is cooked broad beans, a spoonful or two of tahini (peanut butter is just about OK as a substitute), garlic, perhaps a chilli, some lemon juice and olive oil. Add salt and pepper, and enough oil to create the consistency that you like best for humus. It is delicious. You really can make humus from almost anything that is either a root vegetable or rich in starchy fibre, e.g beans, squash etc.
• So long as broad beans are young they really don’t need cooking for a dish like the Bash, or in salads.
• I really recommend slipping the beans from their skins for the Bash although it is not necessary for the humus.
• I have used these dips as tasters for whisky tastings in the past – here’s the line-up of drams for one of those delightful evenings! The Bruichladdich was the favourite and here is my tasting note from that occasion:
“I come back to Bruichladdich time and again for a whisky to match more challenging foods. The cleanness and slight saltiness and strength of the whisky (it’s 50%abv) just seem to make the perfect seasoning to even the most complex of dishes. Yet again it did not disappoint with a summer storm of flavours in my mouth. What treats!”