I do it every year. At the beginning of each Spring, I "negotiate" with my husband about what we should plant in our vegetable garden. We both agree that he is the Head Gardener and that he knows more about plant management than I do. The set up is like this: I "suggest" what I'd like in the garden and he goes out and prepares the beds, buys the seeds and seedlings, plants them, tends them and tells me when they're ready. I pick them, cook or prepare them and put them on the table... works for me.
But I do this thing every year. I
nag make a request to my husband to make sure he plants LOTS of broad beans - because the season is short and I must have broad beans in Spring. The conversation goes something like this:
Me: "I think we should plant a whole bed of broad beans this year."
Him: "Are you sure? We did that last year and we had so many broad beans you
whined stressed about what to do with them all."
Me: "Meh... Of course I'm sure. You can never have too many broad beans."
Him: "Okay." (He's such a push-over.)
I spend the next six weeks simultaneously praising him for what a wonderful job he's done with the broad bean patch as it grows lush with foliage and asking him if he thinks we'll have enough broad beans to make a decent meal.
Fast forward to harvest time and I spend all morning double-peeling a mountain of broad beans and cursing my husband for letting me convince him to plant so many... will he ever learn?
Smashed Broad Bean and Buffalo Mozzarella Bruschetta
from Neil Perry's Easy Weekends
2kg broad beans in the pod
2 garlic cloves, peeled
sea salt flakes and freshly ground white pepper
60ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling and brushing
juice of a lemon
1 tablespoon shredded parsley leaves
2 fresh buffalo mozzarella balls
4 slices sourdough bread, about 1cm thick
ricotta salata, to serve
Pod the broad beans. Blanch them in salted boiling water for 1 minute, then refresh in iced water and drain. Peel the blanched beans - you should have about 1 - 1 1/2 cups of double podded beans.
Place 1 garlic clove of garlic in a mortar add a pinch of salt and, using a pestle, crush the garlic to a paste. Add the broad beans and smash them to a rough puree, leaving some beans whole to give a chunky texture. Add a good amount of white pepper, the olive oil, lemon juice and parsley and mix through. Check the seasoning.
Toast the bread slices on a hot barbecue or grill until golden on both sides. Cut the remaining clove of garlic in half and rub the bread slices with the garlic while the bread is hot. Drizzle a little olive oil on the bread and divide the smashed broad beans among the 4 toasts Tear the mozzarella and lay it on top of the beans. To finish, grate the ricotta salata over the top, drizzle with a little more olive oil and another grind of white pepper.