This was originally supposed to just have one sort of beans in it – broad beans – but 500g of broad bean pods yielded just 125g of beans, and once they’d been double podded there was hardly anything left! Is there any other food that has such a high ratio of waste to food? The only one I can think of is globe artichokes, which are tremendous fun to eat, and very delicious, but not ideal if you’re very hungry…
Anyway, it was Kipper who insisted we buy the broad beans, as she has developed a bit of a thing for the podding of them. We sat at the kitchen table tearing the pods apart to get the beans out, and she announced, “I’m having FUN!” It is quite a satisfying job, even if the final quantity of beans seems minimal next to the much larger pile of discarded empty pods.
Fresh broad beans go really well with salty flavours, which is why I used the anchovies in this dish. Together with the fried onions they provided a deeply savoury, salty background for the sweet, tender beans. The fine beans added some crunch, and the tomatoes brought sweetness and another taste of summer, as well as providing their juice to enrich the sauce.
This would be great with pasta, but for a change, I stirred it into quinoa to a make a sort of quinoa ‘pilaff’ affair. Everyone enjoyed it (and Kipper didn’t even notice the tomato – ha!) and we agreed that some chalky goats’ cheese crumbled over the top would have been a splendid addition, if only we’d had some. Next time.
We shared this between the three of us, but really it serves 2. I caught DH scraping out the last traces of brown caramelised goo from the cold pan after dinner…
- 500g broad bean pods
- 120g quinoa
- 1 medium onion
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 8 anchovy fillets
- 150g cherry tomatoes
- 100g fine beans
- First, shell the broad beans from their pods. Blanche in boiling water for 1 minute, then drain and refresh in cold water. Slip the beans out of their 'jackets' and set aside.
- Cook the quinoa in boiling water according to the packet directions (usually 15-20 minutes).
- Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice the onion. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet over a medium heat and fry the onion for 3-4 minutes until softened and beginning to brown. Roughly chop the anchovy fillets and add to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes.
- Halve the tomatoes and add to the pan. Cover, and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Top and tail the beans, and cut into 4-5cm lengths. Rinse well, and add to the pan. Cook for another minute, then add the reserved, double-podded broad beans. Remove from the heat.
- Drain the quinoa well, and mix with the tomato and bean mixture before serving.