Sunday, September 28, 2008

September 28, 2008: Broad bean bruschetta

Cindy: Though this is really Michael's post to write, I wanted to give a bit of back story. Michael's the mortar-and-pestle master of this household, and when he saw an ad for Jamie Oliver's Flavour Shaker last year, he was keen to get one. I did a little shop around in the lead-up to his birthday and ultimately decided against purchasing. The standard model cost upwards of $30 and to get a bonus spoon that would fit inside the blessed thing and scoop out the flava cost over $40! Not my kind of price range for a fun little extra gift - I'd already ordered some Dr Who merch from the UK.

Fast forward a few months and Purple Goddess' fab feller Furry puchases a non-endorsed version - it's larger and much, much cheaper. A couple comments here, a few emails there and this rockin' couple organise our very own Taste Maker to arrive in the mail! Food-bloggin' folks is some of the best folks in the world, I tell ya.

Anyway, enough of my gabbing. Check out the first meal Michael shook up with his brand new Taste Maker!

Okay, my time to shine. I was pretty excited by the Taste Maker - mushing things up with the mortar and pestle makes for some wonderful flavours, but can be hard, messy work. I was pushing for a pesto to break it in, but Cindy had other ideas. With spring on the way, she's been bookmarking pea-filled recipes, and thus our Sunday lunch was this: broad bean, pea and goat cheese bruscetta. I'm not going to reproduce the recipe here - it's all pretty easy, if a little time consuming. Basically it's all about shelling everything, blanching them, double shelling the broad beans and then mushing up a delicious paste. Easy.

Quick note: buy heaps of peas and heaps of broadbeans - they're aren't many little green blobs inside each pod. I didn't buy anything like enough - it still took me a fair while to strip out the all the peas and broad beans, which ended up giving me less than a cup of each. So, buy lots and give yourself plenty of time to shell them. Once you've blanched everything, you have to shell the second layer of broad bean skin off - it's a bit fiddly, but well worth the effort.

Now the fun bit: shaking! The peas and beans quickly mush together into a paste. The addition of the goat's cheese (I actually used feta) was a bit more of a struggle - the little granite ball clogged into the cheese and it took some serious arm action to get things combining.

Still, it was nothing my arms couldn't handle - and look at the deliciousness that resulted! Don't take the whole beans on top as an indictment of the Taste Master - you stir some uncrushed peas and beans back into the green, cheesy paste that comes out of your little egg.

Smear it all on some toast (with a bit of garlic squished onto it first) and you've got yourself a green, cheesy bruschetta which tastes almost exactly like spring. Who'd have thought?

I'm looking forward to many more smashing good times with our fun new kitchen gadget - thanks Purple Goddess and Furry!


  1. Looks delicious! I still can't believe I've never tried broad beans! Must do that sometime soon! The new toy looks like a lotta fun too!

  2. Love that green! I bought some broad beans today - was thinking of pasta sauce or dip - like the idea of peas and broad beans together - will esp remember this if I don't have enough broad beans as I didn't know how many I needed and just got a handful

  3. Broad beans are so underrated... and I always forget to buy them. That bruschetta looks great!

  4. We're in peak broad bean season, Shellie, so give 'em a go!

    I hope you enjoyed your beans, Johanna - such an effort to shell, but even more of a pleasure to eat. :-)

    Hi Jesska! I have a habit of buying such things once when their season starts and then forgetting about them completely... I'm determined to use them at least a couple of times more this year. :-)

  5. Oh the bean! It's a joyous three months or so while they're in season - I buy a heap every weekend and gleefully double-pod during the week (I quite enjoy it, it's very therapeutic, and those furry insides are awesome!). I'm hoping to do a compendium post of broad bean cuisine at the end of the season :)

    And the TasteMaker is quite the gadget! Great shot of it in action.

  6. LOVE the action shot!!

    And glad we finally got it to you!!

    We got given a big bag of broadies this weekend from out Greek neighbours. This might be the recipe to try!

  7. FoodieFi, I can't wait to see your end-of-season compendium!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, PG! You've gotta get an assembly line of offspring shelling those babies, I reckon. :-)