Broadbeans, Fava Beans... ful
Broadbeans seem to evoke a strong response from people - either good or bad!
Basically, you either love'em or hate'em. But why? I reckon it's because we ate them too late, too old, and probably overcooked.
When I commented to my mum as an adult on how unpalatable they were, she said it was her mother-in-law's fault. Our own broadbeans would be at just the right age for picking, when Grandma would turn up on the doorstep with a Large Bag of broadbeans. Broadbeans that were past their best. By the time we'd dutifully worked our way through those, our own would be grey, over-done and no fun at all.
So we eat them younger, and if they do get a bit big of course we blanch them and slip the grey skins off to eat them that way. The grey skin even obligingly develops its own split so you can just pop them out most of the time.
Lately I've been experimenting with dried broadbeans in cooking.
They can turn to mush if you cook them too long, but they add great flavour, texture, and nutrition.
A stew of dried broadbeans - ful medames - is a traditional breakfast in the Middle East; there's a recipe here at Epicurious. They stack up pretty well nutritionally too - you can find out details here on the interweb.
It's heading towards the end for our broadbeans in the garden - they've loved them at Summerset! The upside is that you can plant them in Autumn (that's officially now) ready for early spring eating... And they're super easy to grow. They make a great dip, slipped of their grey overcoats and mashed with some olive oil, garlic and lemon...stir them through fresh pasta with some olive oil or melted butter... put them in a salad with walnuts and buckwheat...