As much as I love to be in the kitchen, for almost everyone, myself included, it’s just not feasible to spend a huge amount of time preparing meals on a day-to-day basis. I almost always carve out some precious time in the evenings to prepare a nice dinner, and at weekends might make a special breakfast, but lunch tends to be variations on a theme- quick, light meals I can eat for a few days in a row. I’ve shared a few recipes for satisfying bean/grain salads on the blog already- a typical lunch for me. But besides salads, and leftovers, you’ll almost always find some sort of dip in my fridge.
Hummus is probably a staple in most vegans’ diets! It’s certainly one of those foods which deserves the tittle “nutritious and delicious”. I frequently whip up a batch of the traditional stuff but, if you know me you’ll realize It’s rare that I repeat the same dish too many times as I have to much fun making and inventing new ones! This broad bean and roasted garlic dip is a lovely alternative to the usual hummus and just as easy to prepare.
For some depth I added roasted garlic to my dip. If you’ve never tried garlic this way I urge you to do so asap. It’s a different flavour altogether to raw or even sautéed garlic. The sharp, pungent taste mellows completely and it turns caramel-like, sweet and spreadable, and, even better, no garlic breath! When making roasted vegetables I often toss a few whole cloves to the mix, still in their skins, and then squeeze out the sticky garlic when cooked and mix it with the other vegetables.
Broad beans are another vegetable we tend to think of here as a classic summer ingredient. I love how creamy and perfect they look popped out of their thick pods. They always remind me of a song we sang at school when I was little “..the apples are ripe, the plums are red…the broad beans are sleeping in their blankety bed” and while I was shelling them I noticed that the pods were indeed lined with a kind of velvety “blanket”!
Anyway, we went to a local pick-your-own-farm recently to get a load of berries and I couldn’t resist filling a basket with fresh broad beans at the same time. I’ve never really cooked with them before so this was my easy, but delicious solution. If you’ve got any other ideas for using the fresh beans please do share in the comments!
Broad Bean + Roasted Garlic Dip:
Bear in mind when buying fresh broad beans that after shelling them you’re left with a fairly small amount. I recommend buying more than you think you’ll need!
200g/1/2lb Shelled Broad Beans
1 Small bulb of garlic
2T Extra-virgin olive oil
Zest of 1 small lemon
2T Lemon juice
5 Medium basil leaves
Salt + pepper
Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Slice whole bulb of garlic in half width-wise across its centre and place, exposed side up on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and cook for 20-30 minutes. It should be soft throughout and slightly brown. Be careful not to let it burn though- you want caramel not char. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile you can be getting on with shelling your beans. When they’re podded steam them for 3-5 minutes and plunge into cold water. Remove the thick skins from the beans. Just pinch the skin with your fingers and they should pop out easily.
Squeeze as much of the garlic as you can out of the skins and blend together with all the other ingredients In a food processor. Season to taste.
Serve at room temperature with raw vegetable sticks, wholegrain bread, pita or crackers.
I’m submitting this recipe to the weekly blog hop Wellness Weekends
What are your favourite easy lunches?