Trust me, this isn’t going to look pretty! But doesn’t it sound delicious? Sweet, fresh broad beans and earthy toasted walnuts, cut through with lemon and mint. It’s a bloody brilliant combination. The genesis of this recipe was a good deal of Christmas overindulgence on my part, particularly in the cheese department. My Mum makes her own (delicious) cheese and is pretty enthusiastic about the curd generally, so Christmas was a bit of a dairy-fest. By the end of December, the thought of another cheeseboard made my stomach turn and thus this recipe was born. It owes a debt of gratitude to another non-chickpea concoction masquerading as a hummus, but is, in all honesty, closer to a pate in texture. If you’re not lucky enough to be living in the middle of a New Zealand summer, substitute frozen broad beans (or even peas) for the fresh.
About a cup of broad beans, podded but not peeled
Half a cup of shelled walnuts
1 garlic clove, crushed
5 mint leaves, finely chopped
Olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste
Blanch the broad beans in salted boiling water for about 30 seconds (or until defrosted if using frozen). You don’t want to cook them, just loosen the skins enough that they come off easily, so transfer them into a bowl of ice water immediately. Once cooled, peel them and discard the skins.
Toast the walnuts. You could do this in the oven or on the stove top. You just need to heat them (without added oil) until they start to brown and smell toasted. Don’t worry to much about overdoing it, walnuts are pretty forgiving. My preferred method is stove top, using a non-stick crepe pan so they don’t get crowded.
Now, it’s time to turn all of these ingredients into a paste. I wanted a rough chop and to avoid extra dishes, so I used a pestle and mortal. A small food processor would be quicker but would make a more uniform hummus.
Into your pestle and mortar, add the crushed garlic and a pinch of salt. Pulverize. Then add the walnuts and crush until they resemble breadcrumbs. Add the broad beans and do the same.
Transfer this mixture into a bowl and add tahini, lemon juice and mint. Whip until all the ingredients have been brought together, using a fork or a very small whisk. Season with more salt if you wish and pepper. For a smoother consistency you may also want to add olive oil.
Serve as a dip with crudites or spread thickly on bread and crackers.