2 handfuls of broad beans
spaghetti for 2
Spring Garden Pesto
1 bunch of green herbs (parsley and rocket here)
a clove (or two) of garlic
rind of a lemon
pinch of salt
handful grated parmesan
handful pine nuts, lightly toasted
Inspired by the tale of Chris and his family’s simple meal after their community garden harvest of the broad beans ( …”it was so good even the kids ate it!”), this re-told and re-shared spring dinner is all you need after a day in the garden. It oozes the seemingly effortless green of the season. And if you have garlic growing at home with their scapes that need to be eaten (that’s the budding flower stalk that, if removed, will help to fatten up the bulbs before harvest), definitely snip those off and pop them in the pesto as well! Absolutely delicious.
Broad Bean Pasta with Spring Garden Pesto
Shell the beans from their pods. Get the kids to do it if possible. Marvel at the cosy doona lining before the pods go in the compost. Or worm farm, or mulch pile.
Meanwhile whip up a simple pesto with any Spring greens you like. This one was half parsley, half wild rocket from the garden. The basic idea is this: pound your bunch of herbs together with a food processor or mortar and pestle along with a clove of garlic, a good pinch of salt, lemon rind, grated parmesan and a few pine nuts that you’ve lightly toasted in a pan. Keep it all loose with a good dash of olive oil until you get a nice green paste. Adjust the oil / cheese / seasoning ratio until you’re happy with the flavour, and consider a dash of the lemon’s juice as well. Pesto, done!
At some point, put the water on for the spaghetti and cook up the pasta. Steam the broad beans over the pasta water, or blanch in a separate pot until they’re soft and just changing to a brighter green. Only a minute or two perhaps. Drain off most of the pasta water and tip in the beans. *You can also remove the outer layer from any large older beans, they can get quite thick but it’s totally up to you and your patience levels.
Combine it all with a big dollop of pesto in the bowl. Perhaps another round of parmesan or goats cheese on top and an extra drizzle of olive oil if it needs it.
You can store any extra pesto in a jar in the fridge – these rough quantities will be enough for 2-4 serves. Just cover the top of the pesto with olive oil, seal the lid and it should keep for quite a while, if necessary.