31 May 2010

Broad Beans for One

Chalk it up to Silence of the Lambs. The Fava Bean forever brings up connotations of a dinner party at Hannibal Lecter's. Somehow the Broad Bean is infinitely more appealing a name for the humble, buttery, twice gift wrapped by nature green bean. It looks a bit like a Lima, but with a subtle, mild flavor that adapts perfectly with any variety of other veg (mushrooms, radish) or as a side-dish to any type of meat, poultry or fish.
Perfectly in season now, the broad bean seems a fitting ingredient to start my online experiment, blogging my attempts at eating with the seasons -- more specific -- finding inspiration in my weekly CSA allotment.
For this first post, the bean stands alone. Broad beans on toast for one -- what could be simpler -- or more perfect springtime weekday menu for dinner. The preparation could be dressed up or down with the addition of thyme or flat leaf finely chopped parsley, made vegetarian or not -- pancetta is a fine friend to the broad bean.
Broad Beans on Toast for One

6 to 7 Podded Broad Beans (or if you must, Favas)
1 slice Pancetta (or Lardons or thick cut Bacon)
1 tsp olive oil
1 slice favorite thick cut bread (I used sourdough, also country style white bread or any whole grain bread would be nice) 

Prepare Beans: Remove Beans from Large pods and separate larger beans from tiny ones.  Bring small pot of unsalted water to boil and immerse large beans for 3 minutes, drain, and run cold water over the beans until easy to handle.  Slip beans from their white translucent skins and place in bowl with tiny, uncooked beans. 

Chop Pancetta in small pieces and saute for 3-4 minutes, add beans and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes until flavors combine.  Add Salt and Pepper.  

Toast bread and brush with olive oil.  Put beans mixture on top of toast and enjoy.  


  1. I've never cooked broad beans before, but this inspired me to use up some leftover pancetta (and generally bastardise the recipe by replacing the toast with pearl barley and adding a leftover onion that otherwise would have died). Turns out that the reason I've never liked broad beans is because my mother never used to take them out of their skins - they're beautiful little things, aren't they? Such a gorgeous colour. Thank you!

  2. Lizzy -- I LOVE the addition of pear barley... now you have inspired me! Thanks for commenting.


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