Broad beans are a delicious summer vegetable that deserve more than a pan of boiling water.
David Woods, executive head chef of the Sofitel London Gatwick Hotel, gives them the royal touch.
I wish I had grown more broad beans this year in my vegetable garden. Instead, I am helping my young granddaughter nurse one solitary plant for a school project so I doubt I will get to taste much of the produce.
It is such a versatile vegetable that to always eat the beans boiled would be a crime. Yes, they are lovely boiled or steamed and drizzled with butter, but also make great salads or soup.
Their creamy texture complements salty flavours, so toss cooked beans with pancetta or bacon and drizzle with a vinaigrette for a tasty salad, or crush with feta for a bean-style hummus and spread on toasted ciabatta. One of my chefs makes a fantastic broad bean and sweet potato salad.
At La Brasserie, we make a creamy broad bean puree to serve with grilled cod loins accompanied by baby courgettes, which have been filled with seafood.
Sprinkled with some edible flowers, such as violas, it looks and tastes like summer.
To book a table at La Brasserie, Sofitel’s 2 AA rosette restaurant, call 01293 567070 (select 3 for dining) or email SLG@sofitelgatwick.com. Follow us on Twitter @SofitelLondonGA.
Broad Bean puree
Enough for 4 servings
250g podded broad beans
Knob of butter, melted
1 tablespoon of whipping cream
Salt and pepper
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add the beans. Simmer for two minutes and drain. Plunge into iced water.
Pop the beans out of their leathery skins by squeezing gently.
Using a hand held blender, blitz the beans, melted butter and whipping cream together with salt and pepper. Heat gently before serving with pan fried cod loin, grilled pork steaks or chicken breasts.
If you have grown your own broad beans and can guarantee that the ones you pick are young and tender, then there is no need to pod them out of their skins once cooked.
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