Broad beans. They divide a population quick smart. Either you’re a foodie hipster who is in love with them, or you had them served to you as a child in an unadorned state, and missing one important layer of peeling, in which case, you couldn’t think of anything worst than eating them.
Even the foodie hipsters who love broad beans still consider them to be a time consuming to prepare. And, this is true. But I think I’ve finally cracked a method of cooking broad beans which I can find time for.
Boarder crossings around this fine Australia of ours, comes with a particular challenge for the foodie – emptying the stocks of fresh food. More often than not, these border crossings occur in the grand outback, where fresh food is as rare as hens teeth. Doing the cross border cook-up makes me nervous every time. “How far are we from decent fresh produce?” I often wonder, in vain. Each time, I play tetris with our freezer, a space scantly bigger than a shoebox. I am quite proud of how much I can squeeze in there now.
Frozen vegetables suddenly get more than their fair share of space, just in case we can’t find anything green that isn’t decomposing in the coming days of travel. This is the point at which broad beans enter my freezer. They are full of protein and fibre, so they are probably punching above their weight in my freezer.
My other favourite cross-border prep is to make a heap of baked potatoes, because they keep well for a couple of days and are super versatile compared to other left over cooked potatoes. I wrap each potato up in foil, with a splash of oil and some salt and pepper and leave them in the Webber, on a trivet, set to a medium heat, for an hour. So delicious.
This recipe combines both of these great ingredients into a flavour packed lunch.
It looks like a long process below, but that is just because I’m feeling chatty. Don’t be put off. This is the kind of meal which is super quick to pull together, if you’ve done little bits of prep ahead of time.
- 1.5 cups frozen broad beans (they are already peeled once, which is great!)
- 2 left over baked potatoes
- semi-dried, fresh or squeezy tube coriander (obviously, fresh is always best with herbs, but travellers can’t always be choosy about these things)
- semi-dried, fresh or squeezy tube mint
- a splash of chilli sauce (I use a Mexican style chilli sauce)
- 1 crushed clove of garlic
- salt & pepper
- a glug of olive oil
- juice of half a lime or bottled equivalent if required (though, both lemon and lime juice freeze well for border crossings)
- turkish bread
How to quickly prep your broad beans:
Here is my hot tip for peeling frozen broad beans – microwave them for 2 minutes, and then squeeze them gently out of there shells. I know this peeling part seems quite time consuming but I find I can get through a batch rather fast. I usually do this whilst cooking something else. I’m in the kitchen anyway and when there is something blipping away on the stove that can do with my divided attention for a couple of minutes, I whip out my broad beans. These now peeled, par-steamed broad beans will keep in a zip lock bag with the air squeezed out for a day or so in the fridge.
I microwave the broad beans in a zip seal bag, so that there is no wash up.
I don’t normally use a microwave, for, well, anything. We rely on solar power for 80 percent of our travels and despite the fact that it is any incredibly powerful system, it can’t fire up our microwave. When we are on a powered, 240v, site at a caravan park though, I can use our microwave. At this point, I usually ask myself why on earth we are carrying this thing around the country when I only use it, maybe once in every ten days or so, but it’s a built-in that came with Sheila, so it’s there to stay.
You could steam or boil your broad beans the old fashioned way. When I don’t have the microwave on power, I add a little water to the bottom of a lidded saucepan, add my silicon steamer basket and pop my broad beans on top for their sauna treatment, over a medium to high flame. They take about 5 minutes to steam this way, before I let them cool a little and pop them out of their shells.
Pulling it all together:
The next part can be done in either a microwave, or in a small fry pan. Mix together the peeled broad beans with the coriander, mint, chilli sauce, garlic, salt, pepper, lime juice and a glug of olive oil. Microwave or fry for 3-4 minutes, depending how soft you like your broad beans.
Meanwhile, toast your turkish bread.
Then, lay sliced cold baked potato onto your turkish toast and top with the spicy broad bean mix.
Top generously with mozzarella and grill until it’s melty, golden and delicious.
I recommend eating this for lunch, outside – somewhere where the winter sun can warm you from the outside in the same way this melt will warm you from the inside.
What are your feelings on broad beans? Would you give this recipe a whirl?
*this post is not sponsored in any way.4 Did you like this?