An unusual little shop opened on the slightly desolate stretch of Dun Laoghaire Main Steet near the People’s Park recently, taking the place of a perenially empty Indian restaurant. To the untrained eye, it looks like a slightly spartan newsagent, but inside it’s filled with a selection of all the random things a Guardian reader could need. Family members have sourced Sheridan’s cheese, olives, and tamarind paste in recent weeks along with fresh vegetables like baby aubergines and okra.
Recently they’ve been selling glorious Irish broad beans (fava beans) for next to nothing and today I bagged myself a kilo out of the sheer excitement of seeing them. Broad beans scream cliches like ‘summer in a bowl’ and ‘fresh and healthy’. Which is what you need when your last meal was a mountain of chips from the fantastically named ‘Legends of Dun Laoghaire’ chipper at stupid o’clock. Unfortunately, if you’ve had an evening where garlic cheesy chips seemed like a good idea, the chances are the next day isn’t going to be a very productive one. Sunday afternoon laziness kicked in. So I turned them into a lovely dip, the ultimate in lazy cooking. This is quick and easy to make and moderately healthy.
Serves 4 with bread and other things to dip in
- 300g shelled broad beans (from about 600g weight in their pods)
- 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 heaped teaspoon butter
- 2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon finely grated parmesan/pecorino/vegetarian-friendly hard cheese if you’re that way inclined
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- A few fresh mint leaves
- Shell the peas, and boil in their skins for 3-5 minutes in a medium saucepan until soft.
- Drain the beans from the saucepan, run a paper towel over it to dry it and return it to a low heat
- Heat the butter in the saucepan, and cook the onion until soft and glistening, about 6 or 7 minutes
- Add the garlic for two minutes until it colours slightly
- Remove from the heat and add the broads back in (you don’t need to take them out of their pale outer skins for this)
- Add the remaining ingredients, and blend.
- The puree won’t be completely smooth, but shouldn’t have any big chunks.
- Check the seasoning and serve with warm pitta bread.