Taken from Root Stem Leaf Flower: How To Cook With Vegetables And Other Plants, by Gill Meller
I like the idea of a pod; it feels secure. A protective skin encases a downy fleece lining, where the beans would rather grow old and tough than come out to be eaten. But broad beans are deliciously sweet when young, so we harvest them during early summer and eat them in myriad ways – this is one of my favourites. If you don't have time to make the crispbreads, just pile the beans on toasted sourdough instead.
For the rye crispbreads
- 200g rye flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1tsp fast-action dried yeast
- ½tsp fine sea salt
- 2tsp caraway seeds
- 1tsp fennel seeds
- 1tbs sunflower seeds
- 1tbs pumpkin seeds
For the topping
- 2-3 big handfuls of broad beans, podded
- 1tbs extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for trickling
- 1 large knob of unsalted butter
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2-3 artichoke hearts, quartered and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 handful of mint, leaves picked and ribboned, plus a few whole leaves to garnish
- ½ handful of chives, chopped, plus longer pieces to garnish
- Zest of ½ lemon, plus a squeeze or two of juice
- 200ml thick Greek yogurt
- ½ garlic clove, finely crushed
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Make the crispbreads. Combine all the ingredients, except the sunflower and pumpkin seeds, in a bowl with 200ml of water. Mix well to form a dough and set aside to rise for an hour or two.
Heat the oven to 170°C fan. Line a large, flat 35 x 35cm – or equivalent rectangular – baking tray with baking parchment or, better still, with a non-stick silicone mat.
Using a spatula or palette knife, spread half the crispbread dough out as evenly and thinly as you can over the parchment or mat. I like it when the crispbreads are a little random in shape, so don't worry about making anything too neat. Scatter over half the sunflower and pumpkin seeds and press them into the dough. Finally, scatter over a dusting of rye flour. Repeat the process with the remaining dough. Bake the crispbreads in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until they are, as the name suggests, crisp.
Remove the trays from the oven and use a palette knife or spatula to carefully lift each crispbread from the parchment or mat, easing it away in one piece to a cooling rack. If it's not completely crisp, place it directly onto the oven rack and cook for a further 5-10 minutes.
While the crispbreads are baking, make the topping. Bring a medium pan of salted water to the boil. Add the podded broad beans and cook for 2-3 minutes, until just tender. Drain, then refresh the beans under cold water. (If the beans are big, try popping them out of their skins, as the thicker skins have a tendency to be tough; if they're little beans, don't worry.)
Warm a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter and when the butter is melted and bubbling away, add the garlic. Sizzle for a moment or two, then add the artichoke hearts and broad beans. Toss the vegetables around the pan, then season well with salt and pepper. Add half each of the mint, chives and lemon zest and stir the remainder through the yogurt, along with the crushed garlic and some salt and pepper.
To serve, spoon the yogurt onto the crispbreads. Top with some broad beans and artichokes, trickle with olive oil and finish with a squeeze or two of lemon and the whole mint leaves and chives.
- Photography by Andrew Montgomery*
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