Bean there, eaten that
If you've never tried delicious broad beans before, now is your chance. Also called fava beans, broad beans have a sweet, delicate taste and can be eaten in the most simple of ways -- sprinkled with salt and pepper, for example.
This week, I have included them in a spiced quinoa, pilaf-style dish, where they add texture and taste.
Every week I get an organic vegetable delivery from Home Organics (www.homeorganics.ie) and eagerly await the seasonal vegetables. You know you're a foodie when you're excited about finishing work so you can see what vegetables await you in the delivery bag!
Broad beans are a little fiddly -- the fresh beans come in pods, and if the beans are large or slightly old, as they were in my case, they have to be shelled after they come out of the pod. You might have to set aside 30 minutes to prepare the beans, but, trust me, it's worth it.
If you ever needed proof that nature is a magical thing, take a look into the bean pods. The beans nestle comfortably on a cotton wool-like padding that keeps them safe and in one piece.
It's amazing to think that they are able to survive life in the wild thanks to their own natural protection.
I often have people asking for some nice lunch recipes and this is one that can be popped into a lunch box when cooled, left in the fridge and brought to work the next day.
The main ingredient, quinoa, is a pseudocereal and a great gluten-free substitute for couscous. It has a nutty taste but here it is cooked with spices, including turmeric, to give it a golden hue.