8 Aug 2016

Full of beans - a recipe for Broad Bean and Mint Hummus

Broad bean hummus

Did you know there's a whole web page dedicated to bean words?  I came across it seeking inspiration for this post title;  let's face it,  there are only so many ways you can sell a post about beans - even in the height of summer!  My favourites? (and I will try and work these into future posts) Clan of the Cave Bean, Love me tendril and The Unbearable Lightness of Bean. No? Alright, then.

But I digress... When I cleared my first sowing of broad beans a couple of weeks ago, instead of just freezing the pods, I found this recipe in Nigel Slater's Tender Vol One book; it's quick, easy, delicious.  If I ever get time to loaf around with a glass of wine/beer/gin (not in the same glass or even sitting) one warm balmy evening, this would be the perfect accompaniment, dipped into with some flatbreads, pitta or other dippers of choice. I mean, why buy supermarket hummus when you can easily make your own - and even better if the veg has come from your own patch! Nigel Slater claims to use this recipe for older, starchier beans but I found it good enough to justify growing beans for this purpose. I do love my snacks.




Have I mentioned that I did a double sowing of broad beans this year? It was an experiment on several levels:  I wanted to see if I could successfully extend the broad bean harvest with two sowings, and this second sowing was also a trial of Marshall's Seeds Red Epicure beans which they kindly sent me.

Just over two months later, I'm very pleased with the results. I have a second crop of beans. The seeds were sown direct in mid-May, every one germinated within a couple of weeks and the plants grew strongly. There were no pests and the plants quickly matched the first sowing in height. The flowers were as expected (white/black) and prolific, the promise of many pods to come.  Which they did. I picked a few at the finger pod stage; those tiny beans, eaten straight from the pod, were delicious - on a par with, if not surpassing, my favourite Karmazyn beans. The mature pods are beautifully shiny and bright green, the beans inside shiny skinned like little red conkers. The skins allegedly stay red when lightly steamed but I'll be skinning them for a summer salad or another bowl of hummus.

Above: 5 weeks after sowing. Red Epicure in first rows in front of Karmazyn at back with pods.

7 weeks after sowing.  In flower while Karmazyn beans behind are ready for picking.

10 to 11 weeks after sowing. Pods looking good but leaves have a tiny touch of rust. Solution is to prune the leaves off.

Red Epicure broad beans
Red Epicure beans looking pink in the evening sunlight.


I'll definitely be growing these again next year, especially now I have the allotment space to grow a lot more - who wouldn't love the look of pink beans to brighten a plate of food!


26 comments:

  1. Brilliant beans. I like the idea of two sowings. The broad bean moment can be a bit short and intense. I bet the hummus would be good with borlotti beans as well. I've found mine tend to come all at once so I freeze them, then take out a handful when I need them, although I didn't get round to growing any at all this year. I've been using last year's for bean dip though. CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, I like the idea of using borlotti beans for dip! Thanks, CJ! I've got borlotti beans growing at the moment - at least they will be if the flowers set! I'm growing five each of Cobra and Borlotti although if I'd given the plan more thought, I could have doubled this easily. Now I'm really looking forward to having some allotment space next year for growing my favourites!

      Delete
  2. I'd love to have BBs available for a longer period of time. Their season is normally so brief! much as I would like to have a second sowing, I can't justify the use of space, because there are so many other things I want to grow. BTW, I love the bowl in which you have served your hummus? Is it Polish pottery? We have a "Lasagne dish" with a very similar pattern.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I grow broad beans as a space saving crop that I can interplant with later veg like broccoli or kale. I also underplant with radishes and other low growing veg because, like you, I'm seriously short of space here! The bowl is very pretty isn't it! It's origins are very mundane as I bought it in Waitrose last summer when they had a range of blue pottery on sale. I think it's similar to bowls that can be bought in China Town here in London - although I'd like to think it was made in Poland!

      Delete
  3. I have this recipe but have never tried it, looks much too like pureed pea for my liking. I like snacky things though so I really should try it. Have you tried beetroot hummus? I like to make a little selection for lunch in the garden xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oooh, beetroot hummus sounds delicious! Do you have a recipe or is it from a book? I have so many cookery books that I tried to recycle some of them last weekend and - as a result - found loads of wonderfully tasty recipes that I really should try out. I'll try and track down a beetroot hummus recipe, it will look lovely and pink next to my green hummus! xx

      Delete
  4. Those beans are quite striking.
    I know this is being a bit pedantic but beans don't have tendrils :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never grown 'ordinary' broad beans, Sue, as I developed a loathing for those when dished up reheated in parsley sauce, with tough skins on, at school. I imagine these lovely red beans would look very striking next to green broad beans - I do like a splash of colour in the veg garden! Totally agree about the tendrils but I couldn't resist - maybe save the title for post about peas or achocha!

      Delete
  5. Gosh I like the sound of that dip especially since a report last week concluded there's too much salt in all supermarket hummus. And I've noted to sow a second crop of broad beans next May and I shall try Red Epicure for their beauty alone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I mostly cook everything from scratch in my own kitchen with salt rarely added - I daresay hummus is not the only supermarket food to be overloaded with salt! I recently bought some pesto from our farmer's market and found it to be overwhelmingly salty although my son loved it. Hmmm. Definitely give Red Epicure beans a try, they're absolute beauties!

      Delete
  6. I had hoped to have two sowings of broad beans but a soggy plot put paid to that. I'll be trying again next year. Those red Epicure beans look and sound rather good. Flighty xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear that your second crop was a non-starter, Flighty. Last winter's very wet weather has certainly affected a lot of gardeners' plans. I grow mine in one of the raised beds which gives another 6 inches of drainage before the clay level - possibly worth a try if you can get any spare wood?

      Delete
  7. Your second sowing certainly worked out well, I must try that next year, I do love broad beans! Those bean names had me smiling, as did those stunning pink beans! Now that hummus certainly does look tasty and simple to make!xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dina - I thought the bright pink beans might appeal to your creative eye! I can't believe that I disliked broad beans before I started growing my own - my mum used to love them in a risotto and now I can see why.

      Delete
  8. This looks lovely :) I don't have any broad beans this year, but I may grow them next year. I live in hope of being able to recreate a garlicky cold broad bean dish I used to love at a Lebanese restaurant that sadly closed down :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Emma. I like the sound of that garlicky broad bean dish. With this recipe, there's no reason why you can't switch spices and herbs around as you wish - let us know if you manage to recreate the dish that you're missing!

      Delete
  9. That recipe sound great. I'm always looking for more broad bean recipes so will check out those links.

    I wonder why so many broad bean recipes want you to remove the skin? Seems like a waste of so much of the bean. I often ignore that step and still get yummy food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've found that the skin around older beans can get tough and then the texture isn't so nice. Also Karmazyn beans which I usually grow are blush pink in the pod and then turn a truly nasty lavender grey on being cooked - and yet are still an enticing bright green inside the sickly grey skins. Definitely an occasion where de-skinning is an advantage!

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. Thank you Endah; we've had a lot of rain this year in the UK and that's helped the garden enormously. London tap water is full of lime so rainwater is a better option for the plants and makes them healthier!

      Delete
  11. oh how beautiful are those red beans! they could persuade me to grow broad beans again ... they would make any meal look fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't grow broad beans? If nothing else, they give me an early harvest of something fresh from the garden so I love them for that alone. Plus I'm discovering some delicious meals with broad beans as the main ingredient! Maybe give them another go - you're just leaving winter behind now, yes?

      Delete
  12. Our brooad beans have always ended up with blackfly. I would never attempted to sow them so late, I will try your suggestion next year. Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I was lucky not to get blackfly this year, Sarah. Bizarrely the nasturtiums and calendula were absolutely smothered with them but the broad beans resisted! Nature, eh! As I enjoy the beans when they're small but perfectly formed, I'll try second sowing earlier than May next year; also as soon as the beans come out, I need the space for broccoli and kale! Cxx

      Delete
  13. We always do two sowings of broad beans which works well. Did you find that the beans stayed red?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I'll do my second sowing earlier next year, Sue, as the plants succumbed shortly after writing this post. The beans from those plants were still delicious. I cooked them in water on the hob and the skins went a lovely aubergine/purple colour. I have a few left so will try steaming next and see if the colour stays. Will let you know.

      Delete

Comments on my posts are much appreciated and help to build an online community of blog friends. Everyone is welcome! I love to discover new blogs so please leave a comment to introduce yourself.
Caro x

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...