Broad beans are delicious. But by the time you’ve removed the larger ones from their tough outer skins, one tends to be left with a fairly modest quantity. So it’s not the kind of vegetable you can expect a whole plate of; instead, dot them through pastas and risottos or use as one of several green vegetables in a light summery vegetable ragout.
Here, I’ve balanced salty feta and the slightly bitter beans with some lemony crushed sumac and soft herbs atop some chargrilled sourdough. Serve as open sandwiched for lunch or mini versions for a first course.
Serves 4 as a starter
- 4 thin slices of sourdough bread
- 175g podded broad beans
- 1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp chopped fresh mint
- 1 tsp chopped fresh basil
- ¼ tsp sumac
- Black pepper
- 100g feta, crumbled
Begin by blanching the broad beans. Bring a pan of salted water up to a rolling boil. Drop in the beans and boil for 2 minutes. Drain immediately and plunge into cold water until cold. Drain and then remove the skins from the larger beans. To do so, simply use the tip of a knife (or a fingernail) to break the outer skin. You can then squeeze the bright green inner bean out of the hole.
Mix the oil with the herbs, sumac, a pinch of salt and some black pepper. Mix 1 tsp of this through the beans.
Cut your bread to the desired size and drizzle in a little olive oil. Grill on a griddle pan or under a hot grill until just turning golden.
Top the toast with crumbled feta, the broad beans and then a drizzle more of the herby oil.