Thursday, July 10, 2008

In season: tuinboon (Vicia faba)

The broad bean (Vicia faba) has been cultivated for around 8000 years. Typical harvest time in The Netherlands is June and July.

How to prepare? Shell the beans and blanche for 30 seconds in boiling water. The outer skin of the shelled beans can be pretty bitter, so after blanching you need to take off the light grey skin. You’re left with the bright green inner part, which has a wonderful flavor. But taste first! When the beans are really young, the skin is much less bitter and can be used.

Recipe for 2 persons:

200 gram of bulgur. Take the water you have used for blanching the broad beans and peas, this will add extra flavor to the bulgur. Pour 400 ml of this boiling hot vegetable water on the bulgur and wait for 15 minutes. Don’t boil the bulgur.

Mix the bulgur with:
Shelled, blanched and skinned broad beans
Fresh shelled and blanched peas (also in season)
Diced Greek feta cheese
Sweet cherry tomato’s, halved
50 gram pumpkin seeds

Make a dressing with:
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
garlic, pepper and salt

After mixing the dressing into the bulgur, add a hand of fresh mint leaves, roughly cut, and toss everything over until the flavors are mixed. This recipe only works when everything is fresh. Canned broad beans and peas are no substitute, I'm afraid.
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