Broad Bean Bruschetta
Perhaps the quintessential go-to, that no frills smooshing of simple beans on toast.
It’s perhaps the quintessential broad bean go-to, that no frills smooshing of beans on toast. It seems to give them just enough special treatment to honour what their arrival signifies. They (and we!) made it, growing steadily through that cold winter like they’ve done for years and years. I think they taste so new, like spring should. Soon it’ll be hot and bruschetta will be all about the juiciest tomatoes, but right now is a small window to love the new green things winter has grown. Joe’s seeds, still growing by the Merri creek, and still the best as simple beans on toast – left whole, or totally blitzed into a spread. Such good spring eating.
Get some water boiling on the stove while you pod the broad beans out of their little insulated feather beds. Once both of those things are done, salt the water and pop the beans in to cook for just a couple of minutes. Two, three minutes, lets say. Lift them out with a slotted spoon, and run under cold water if you’ve pushed the three minutes. (If the broadies are a bigger size, the outer shells may be a bit hard but you can quickly take these off, pinching them between your fingers. If they are young small beans, just leave the outer shell on). Give the beans a drizzle of olive oil. I mashed these with a fork (you could whizz them with a blender), before adding the mint and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
Toast the bread and if you have a little garlic, cut a clove in half and wipe the cut edge lightly over the toast while it’s still warm. Transformative, that garlic toast trick. Top with goats cheese (also optional) and then the green pile of spring that is the lemony, minty broad beans.
With that pot of water, you could also blanch some asparagus spears. They could go on top, or spread out – make a spring antipasto-esque platter with salt-sprinkled radishes, juicy olives, cured meats and more of that delicious goats cheese.