What a wonder those little velvety jackets are that surround broad (fava) beans. I remember shelling broad beans when i was a kid, and marvelling at the softness inside the pod. Broad beans are one of those truly seasonal foods - gone as quickly as they came. They've become a bit of a home gardener must have, even if you don't really like the flavour. Their easy growth and prolific producing make them great for kids to observe too. And if you have never shelled broad beans together, then you must! Great for hand-eye coordination and patience. Dad gave me a big bag full from his garden, which I had been trying to decide what to cook into. I've been browsing Moroccan cookbooks the last few days for the planning of our staff Christmas party menu. We've decided nobody cooks better food in our country town than a bunch of Naturopaths and Nutritionists, so we're making our own. I love Moroccan so I'm pumped! I came across a broad bean dip recipe, which I've adapted here for you.
Moroccan Broad Bean Dip
4 Handfuls of freshly shelled Broad Beans
2 tbs Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Hot Paprika
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 Lemon juiced
Cook the shelled broad beans in boiling water until they are just cooked - no more than 5 minutes. Strain off water and allow to cool. Remove the outer casing of the bean and reveal the bright green inner. Discard the outer shells. Yes you have now shelled your broad beans twice! Combine green broad beans with other ingredients in blender and pulse until just combined. Enjoy with freshly toasted flat bread or vegetable sticks.
The double shelling of broad beans is a new phenomena to me. I noticed that Elijah was spitting out the outer grey casing and only eating the inners - and when I thought about it, it seemed a good idea. The outer casing contains more of the indigestible starches, that tend to cause some of the bloating or digestive upset associated with eating 'beans'. You can then better digest the green inner bean for great fibre and protein. The outer casing seems to be the more bitter tasting too. It's not an exercise for the impatient though! A little bowl of dip did take quite an effort for shelling, cooking and re-shelling. Worth it though!