I’m guilty of falling into food ruts, making the same thing or using the same ingredients. The great thing about Summer is that so many gorgeous vegetables like broad beans come into season.
Yes it is a bit more fiddley to shell the beans, but it’s a good job to do while chatting in the phone or even better if you have kids, little fingers are made for jobs like this.
As a kid I wasn’t a fan of broad beans. I’d only ever had them with the tough whitish green slightly bitter layer left on and boiled to within an inch of their life. Fast forward and while visiting a friend her Mum made this dish. With the outer layer removed the beans are sweet and tender. Add a mint dressing and you have a really light Summery salad. This is also great in wraps and sandwiches.
1Kg Grams Broad beans in pods
2 Tbsp Oil (I used rapeseed oil, but any neutral tasting oil will do)
1 Tbsp White wine or cider vinegar
2 Tbsp Fresh mint (finely chopped) or 1 Tbsp dried mint
Remove the broad beans from their pods, and then peel off the whitish outer coating. This will show the tender green bean inside, gently pull the two halves apart
Once you have shelled all the beans, blanche in boiling water for 1 minute and then transfer quickly to a bowl of cold water (this will help keep them bright green
Add your oil, vinegar and mint to a large bowl and stir, add the beans and make sure they are well coated
Season with salt and pepper if you feel it needs it
Whenever possible I like to eat seasonally, it’s usually cheaper, and usually better for you, and better for the planet. Autumn has some great fruit and vegetables. One of my favourites are plums. Usually inexpensive and really versatile. I love this plum cake, no only because its relatively straight forward to make, but the cinnamon and cardamon add a whole other level of flavour. The addition of sour cream adds a tenderness to the sponge. This will also live quite happily in a cake tin for 3-4 days. I love it with whipped cream, but it’s also perfect comfort food served with custard.
300 Grams Plain flour
1, 1/2 Tsps Baking powder
1 Tsp Ground cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Ground cardamon
1 Tsp Salt
100 Grams Butter
200 Grams Sugar
60 Grams Sour Cream
Mix the flour, salt, spices and baking powder together
In a separate bowl cream the eggs and sugar together with an electric whisk (hold back 2 tablespoons of sugar to top the plums with)
Add the eggs and sour cream to the butter and sugar and whisk until light and fluffy
Gradually whisk in the flour mixture until you have thick cake batter
Grease a 9 inch spring firm cake tin, and pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees
Transfer your cake batter to the cake tin and spread evenly.
Cut the plums in half, remove the stone and cut each half into quarters
Starting in the centre of the cake, arrange the slices of plum in a circle (or any type of pattern you like) and sprinkle with remaining sugar
Bake for 35 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean when stuck in the cake