I realise that the weather is still a little unseasonably cooler than we like. When it’s raining outside (again) it might be hard to think of Summer meals, but there is some great Irish produce available in the supermarkets and farmer’s markets nationwide.
Fresh broad beans are just appearing in the supermarket and there’s no need to get their pesky sleeping-bag/thermal vest combination get in the way of enjoying a brilliant protein source. Broad beans come in a cozy fleece-lined sleeping bag; and just like peas in their pod they need to be podded away from the husk they grew in. Once you pick the beans out of the pod, the “thermal vest” still has to be dealt with.
My top tip for all vegetables is to cook anything that is grown above the ground in boiling water. Anything that grows below the ground, needs to be brought to the boil. In the case of broadbeans, bring a saucepan of water to the boil, then add the broad beans. The beans will plummet to the bottom, you’ll see little bubbles form and slowly they’ll all rise to the top of the boiling water. As soon as the beans reach the surface, remove them from the heat and plunge the beans into a basin of cold water. Once cool, the inner skin or “thermal vest” will slide off easily. At this point the fresh beans should be simmered for another 3 minutes before eating.
While this all might sound like a lot of hard work, broad beans are definitely worth the effort.
For the Summer Bruschetta, chop fresh tomatoes and cucumber into chunks, add to a bowl, then season liberally with salt and pepper. Once the broad beans have cooked through for the second time, drain and add to the other vegetables. Toast up some thick chunks of sourdough or french loaf and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. Spoon the vegetable mixture on top, then drizzle with some decent white vinegar.
If you want to make this a very, very filling lunch or brunch, then top with a fresh poached egg!
Recipe from Caitriona Redmond aka Wholesome Ireland