Broad bean and mint dip
Franco Taruschio made me this vibrant green dip in spring when he instructed our family in picking the long, green leaves of wild garlic. It is often found by rivers and now the children recognise the smell and gather it for us when we are out walking. The leaves have a gentler flavour than garlic bulbs. It is very moreish and good with lamb chops or on toasted bread for crostini. It is a little late for wild garlic now in June but it can be replaced with the normal cloves of garlic instead. However the time is just right for tender broad beans and we have plenty of fresh mint in our garden these days.
Serves 12 allowing two pieces of toasted bread each approx 10cm by 7cm or
Serves 6 as a vegetable dish
500g young broad beans in the pod or the same quantity of frozen beans
1 clove garlic, finely chopped or 10 leaves of wild garlic
8 large mint leaves
2 heaped tbsps freshly grated pecorino sardo or parmesan
4 tbsps or more of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Shell the beans and blanch them in boiling water for a minute, then plunge into cold water. If the outer skins are tough and you have time, slip the beans out of their skins. Normally I find this unnecessary as the whole dip is so finely chopped.
In a food processor process the garlic and mint to a paste, add the beans then the cheese, salt and pepper and finally the olive oil. The end result should be a smooth, loose paste.
Slice a baguette approximately ½ cm thick and brush with olive oil. Place onto a tray and put into the oven until golden brown and crisp. Serve the broad bean paste. Finish by topping with finely shredded mint leaves.
This recipe features on my ‘New You, New Food’ cookery course. See here for upcoming dates.