Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The great broad bean bake-off

I must admit, I have never been a fan of broad beans. Dad however, has always been a most devoted follower of the bean. Growing up I would politely decline a serving of the insipid vegetable and yet they would still appear piled high on my plate. These would quickly be transferred to Dad’s plate, and he would delight in a lengthy rhetoric along the lines of ‘you people don’t appreciate good food...’

In recent years, I have learnt that when the skin is removed, the vibrant green bean inside is actually quite tasty. So when I discovered Dad proudly preparing the broad beans Mum had loving grown for him, I thought the opportunity had come to rewrite the childhood memories and make something delicious with them. I consulted our food expert, Rebecca, on how best to prepare and serve them. However, Dad wasn’t having a bar of this ‘It’s all about history you see… we shall have the broad beans simple, the way we always have’ and ‘you buggers leave my beans alone!’

On Rebecca’s suggestion it was decided we could have a cook off – and see which style of broad bean was most popular. After intense negotiations, Dad reluctantly allocated me 1/2 of his precious bean harvest to serve as I like, and the remainder would be prepared by Dad – using the boil then serve method.

Below are the pictures of our respective dishes, which I think speak for themselves!
Miriam's Broad Beans:
I prepared my dish by blanching the beans and peeling the outer layer off each one. I also blanched some asparagus, and made a salad with the beans, asparagus, fresh mint, feta, and a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper.

Gearad's Broad Beans:
Dad prepared his beans by 'bringing a little salted water to the boil, then dropping the beans in for 4 minutes and 59 seconds and serving with a little bit of freshly ground pepper and a soupcon of love.'

Mum diplomatically pronounced the home grown beans the winner – I guess she values her marriage!


  1. Yum! Jamie Oliver has some yummy broad bean recipes.

    I will agree that the beans were the winner on the day!!

    Emma Wong-Ming

  2. I vote for your beans Miriam! They look delicious. I might try making your recipe myself one day soon.

  3. LOL! I can just picture the goings on in the Horgan household regarding the broad beans bake off.


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