The first tiny broad beans came up from the huerta a couple of days ago. Jeannie, Bertie, Dorelia, Lucy, Liza, Grania and Sarah all dug in to the task.
Nobody is looking quite so smiley on day three!
Half of the beans are picked small, and the plants are pulled out to make way for the tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, and courgettes which have to go in soon. The rest of the beans will be left in the ground to swell to full size.
Recipe for Tender Broad Bean Stew
The bean pods for this must be the the very youngest,about as thick as your small finger. Take about 1Kg of these, and snap of the tops and tails.
Slice 4 or 5 cloves of garlic into a large pan with a lid. Tip in 20-30cl of virgin olive oil. Add a glass of water, a finely sliced onion and the broad beans.
Turn the heat up until the liquid begins to simmer, add salt and pepper to taste, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Turn down the heat and allow to cook gently for about 30 minutes.
Check that there is enough water from time to time. When the beanpods have changed colour to a sort of grey-green, add one small can of tomato puree, and two teaspoonfuls of sugar. Stir around with a wooden spoon until well amalgamated. Reduce liquid until you have an oily, shiny appearance, and then turn off heat.
Taste again for seasoning. Eat tepid.
At Buenvino we serve this for a spring lunch, perhaps along with tomato and almond salad, local cheeses, chicken schnitzels with turmeric and sesame, and a rocket salad.