Change of heart!

After waiting four months I’m pleased to say that the first crop of the Broad Beans were ready today… so I dodged the rain and carefully cut some beans as well as some purple sprouting broccoli and salad leaves. The carrots and beetroot will be ready in a couple of weeks and the garlic and shallots won’t be far behind. Exciting times!

The beans were taken from the bottom of the plants and you need more than you think as there are only four little beans inside each pod! They were picked when still small and tender so all I did was remove them from their pods. Mother Nature is amazing – each little bean is perfectly wrapped in a fur lined pod. Seriously, have you taken time to feel the inside of these pods? Damp, cool, velvety… surely only good things come in such heavenly wrappers – I’ve finally changed my mind about Broad Beans Being Evil.

I combined chopped garlic, red chilli and olive oil in a pan and gently cooked for a few minutes. I then added some leftover slow roasted tomatoes, threw in the purple sprouting broccoli and seasoned well. This mixture was added to cavatappi pasta and served with fresh salad and garlic bread.

It was absolutely lovely! The Broad Beans were silky smooth and sweeter than I imagined and far removed from the bitter, squeaky beans of my childhood! The only thing I may do differently next time is take them out of their individual shells, not because they were tough, but because their intense, bright green insides were hidden!

Amy over at  A Healthy Life For Me  kindly posted a recipe for Fava Beans and Manchego Crostini. If you haven’t yet visited her inspiring blog it’s well worth the trip – great recipes, a beautiful garden and useful tips on entertaining.

I’m so pleased that my plan to “grow something I dislike” worked. I’ve watched these beans grow, enjoyed their flowers, nutured them and eaten them whilst fresh. After 4 months of care I would be entitled to finally say that I hate Broad Beans. Lucky for me, I now love them! I would certainly recommend planting some next year if you dislike them… go on, give them a go!

Are Broad Beans really evil?

I’ve never been a fussy eater and I’ve always enjoyed a wide variety of fruit and veg. I’ve never even had a problem with Brussel Sprouts (despite many being the large, slimy, overcooked variety – sorry Mum!). Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Broad Beans… even typing the words makes me screw my nose up and almost taste the strange, ugly little bean in my mouth. Yuck.

When I was a little girl I tried all sorts of things to escape having to eat broad beans – hiding them under the mashed potatoes, putting them onto my sisters plate when they weren’t looking or simply hiding them in my pocket (the latter was less successful due to copious servings of parsley sauce).

When I was old enough to figure out that there may be an alternative way to experience broad beans Silence of the Lambs was released and Hannibal Lecter managed to reinforce all that was evil about these vile little beans. If only I hadn’t asked my friend what Fava Beans were….

Now, many years later, I am open to the idea of trying to grow my own beans. It may even be within the realms of possibility that I eat one!!

Broad Beans planted