Double-Podded Delight

November 27, 2010

Broad beans are such a treat amongst my family. We rejoice whenever a dish in which they feature comes up in conversation. Their sweet, earthy flavour and soft texture send us all into fits of rapture. More so my mum, who until her mid-twenties, had never experienced the joy that is a double-podded broad bean.

As a child mum was fed bowls of bitter, pale, un-podded broad beans whenever she stayed with one particular relative. Naturally she developed a strong dislike for these unpleasant beans, and avoided them at all cost. It wasn’t until dining at a restaurant as a newlywed that she encountered some delightfully soft, blissful bean-shaped morsels. Upon beseeching the waiter to identify these assumingly foreign, heavenly bites, and hearing the words “broad beans” spat out ever so patronisingly, mum’s culinary world changed forever. She discovered a whole new and exciting side to the humble broad bean. All those years she simply needed to peel away the hard exterior to find a soft, quietly confident, delicious bean. Tedious is the process of double-podding, yet it is oh so worth it.

For mum’s birthday last month, we had a wonderfully vibrant breakfast of smashed broad beans and peas, fetta and mint with toasted sourdough. We celebrated not only her birthday, but the beauty of the bean (with homegrown beans, no less), and the way it re-entered her life after years of banishment to reclaim it’s rightful, esteemed position.

Dad bought mum this gorgeous antique fan. Isn’t it beautiful?

Heidi xo
  • littleaspects November 27, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Sounds lovely! I celebrated my birthday with broad beans this year too! (in a pasta dish 🙂 ) – I think that they are a very celebratory food (plus they signal spring time to me, which is always cause for celebration!).

    Congratulations on completing your walk last weekend as well!

  • Leah November 27, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Your dish of broad beans, peas etc on sourdough looks divine!

  • Chanel11 November 27, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    I didn't realise the first time I made a dish with broad beans you needed to pod them twice – hubby pointed out my faux pas…But how delicious they were the second time around!

  • Hannah November 27, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Shh… don't tell your mum, but for two years straight (until I went overseas this year) I would eat a bowl of microwaved (from frozen) broad beans every night as a snack, eating the grey shells first 😀

    (I still would, but frozen peas are cheaper. Teehee!)

  • Heidi November 27, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    littleaspects – thank you! Broad beans with pasta, yum. Yes they are quite the celebratory bean!

    Leah – thanks, it was delicious 🙂

    Chanel11 – I think it is quite common, un-podding them. So delicious once you do though!

    Hannah – oh you like the outer shell? I can't say I do (clearly!), but to each their own! A bowl of peas is such a fabulous snack 🙂

    Heidi xo

  • Carly Findlay November 27, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    This does look good. Maybe you can cook them to change my mind about broad beans? They're my most hated vegetable (I only hate one).
    Gave you a mention on my blog:

  • Anna Johnston November 27, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Oh snap, it must have been the thing to boil the bits outa vegs back in the day coz my Mom said she absolutely loathed broad beans until a few years ago I whipped up some broad beans in a dish and now she's a convert, she loves 'em 🙂
    Nice little dish you've put together there too Heidi. What a lovely antique fan too, so elegant.

  • Heidi November 28, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Carly – thank you for the link, lovely. Glad to be of inspiration. I'd love this combo with pasta too. I so think that if you had what I ate you'd LOVE them – I can't see how anyone wouldn't! But then again some people like chicken feet…

    Anna – thanks! The fan is lovely. I try not to accidentally put it in my bag and take it home with me whenever I visit.

    Heidi xo

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella November 28, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    This is just about the perfect side dish for Christmas dinner! 😀

  • almostalwaysravenous November 28, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    haha, i until recently had not realised how earthy-tasty it was =).

  • msihua November 28, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    I'm not a fan of beans but I am learning to like them… and broad beans are the best for me at the moment! Yum!

  • grace November 28, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    i love broad beans! they're so meaty and flavorful. and wow–what a sweet gift. we should all be so lucky to find such winning mates! 🙂

  • The InTolerant Chef November 28, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    For a few months when I was small, all I ate was boiled broadbeans for every meal as it was all my system could handle with my intolerances and digestion. I thought they were awful because they were given to me with the grey skin on as well, but now I love them prepared properly

  • Heidi November 29, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Lorraine – yes, it would make a nice side dish!

    Allan – I love that about beans, legumes – so earthy.

    msihua – I'm glad you're starting to like beans. Lentils and butter beans are favourites of mine.

    Grace – they're are really sweet and yes, v lucky 🙂

    InTolerant Chef – Oh poor little child InTolerant Chef!! That must have been awful. Great job for liking them now, even after all that!

    Heidi xo

  • Faith @ lovelyascharged November 29, 2010 at 11:07 am

    I've never heard of broad beans (!!!) but they look so nutritious, and I'm sure they're absolutely packed with nutrients! Pop 'em on toast and I'm game – looks like an awesome and unique breakfast!

  • hollypop November 29, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    it's so cute that your family think beans of any kind are a treat 🙂

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) November 29, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Did you know – the first time I tried broadbeans (and brussel sprouts and oysters) was as an adult! I am finding out just how 'unadventurous' my parents were when it came to food!!

  • Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets November 29, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    That fan is beautiful, indeed! I hated peas as a kid, but they were frozen and I like them now. I bet fresh would be even more to my liking!

  • Kath November 29, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Whee, another thing I have never tried! (But I do there are beans like that.)

    I alsways love your family food stories and incredibly beautiful pictures! What a lovely fan!

  • deb November 29, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    I didn't mind broad beans, but I too grew up eating them with their grey wrinkled coat. Looking forward to trying them doubled peeled…except I may be a bit too lazy to do that. Maybe I'll have to eat them at a cafe one day, and let someone else do the peeling!!

  • Heidi November 29, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Faith – they're super delicious! Definitely try them 🙂

    hollypop – hehe 🙂 On the lame side but what can you do.

    Lisa – maybe they were just not wanting to feed their kids foods they would probably reject!!

    Xiaolu – fresh peas are the best, I love them in salads.

    Kath – thank you! I'm glad to introduce them to you!

    Deb – yes, smart women – make someone else do the dirty work!

    Heidi xo

  • Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear December 1, 2010 at 1:58 am

    I never thought of mixinf feta and beans, what a great idea! everything mixed with feta tastes good 😛