It really is very satisfying when things are at a pick-able size and you reap the rewards of patiently waiting and nurturing them into fruition . With broad beans now at their peak, I am trying to use them while they are still small enough to avoid the double peeling that larger ones need. Some of the beetroot is also ready to harvest and some young beets are following giving me succession harvesting. Along with some silver beet, lettuce and young beetroot leaves there is a great base for a salad. I had to remove some rogue potato plants from a pathway so the young spuds were also put to good use. Fresh lemon juice, some marinated feta cheese and it was a great salad!
After a busy day at the ‘new old house’ I didn’t have much motivation for cooking but still wanted to enjoy the first pickings of our broad beans and beetroot. Inspired from a post I read on one of my favourite blogs – Suburban Tomato, I made a few improvisations based on what was available and we enjoyed a nice healthy, snack style dinner.
Ingredients I had were:
Handful of beautiful young baby broad beans freshly picked as I came in the back gate,
2 small beetroot, also picked as I came in the gate.
A couple of old kipfler potatoes that were about to be planted because of the shoots they were setting,
Some nasty supermarket bread,
Feta cheese I buy in bulk and store in oil with garlic and olives because our local supermarket only sells stuff that is like kids school erasers (actually I think it tastes worse).
Mint and some lovely macadamia oil.
First up I put the beetroot into a steamer to cook while I prepared the rest of the salad. I peeled, cut into small chunks the potatoes and zapped them in the microwave for 4 minutes. Cut the bread into crouton sized bits and placed into a dry pan to crisp up, once the spuds were out of microwave, I drizzled macadamia oil over them and added some chopped garlic which went into the bread pan so they could all brown off together. While waiting for beets to cook and potatoes and bread to crisp up I shelled the broad beans, cut some mint and sliced some beetroot tops finely. I crumbled the feta and sipped a glass of wine. When bread and potato combo was ready, I turned off the heat and just tipped the beans, beet leaves and feta into the pan to warm through from retained heat while I peeled and cut the beetroot. Added the beetroot to the mix, stirred all through together and served with a squeeze of lemon juice. Looks a bit like a train wreck but tasted really fresh, light and filled the hungry tum. Next time I would definitely use good bread for the croutons and probably serve them on the side.
I really wish now that I hadn’t been ‘nicking’ the young broad beans as they have been forming, as the taste of these, barely cooked, young, sweet, tender beans with the lemon juice was amazing-just weren’t enough of them in the salad!