Friday, February 27, 2009

Bean There, Done That!

If it's epiphany one day, it's serendipity another. Want something so bad and the universe will conspire to give it to you? I don't know if such lofty ideals/statements can be applied to the smaller delights of life, and it's not as if I wanted this so bad that the entire universe had to get conspiring to give it to me but if it did, I'm happy.

The bane of living in big cities is that services and conveniences you get in small towns are hard to come by. (As are certain vegetables, foods and treats of other kinds, but that's a different story) Whenever I need some clothes altered, I can't give it to any tailor close by but have to go to this poky little shop in a poky little road that features a smelly, open drain to meet the "alterations specialist". It's a right task, hauling myself and my bundle of "alterations clothes" collected over the weeks, to his kiosk, but that day, it was doubly worth it because I noticed these broad beans, my absolute favourites and rarely to be found where I live, on a vegetable cart close by. I immediately bought half a kilo.

They were all the more a serendipitous find because just a few days ago, I had been looking for some ideas for Feta cheese, of which I possessed a small carton, and had come across recipes for a traditional Greek salad of broad beans and Feta.

This recipe is a synthesis of several recipes that I have in my cookbooks and on the Net. It's been a month since I've made it so treat the quantities with a pinch of salt. And if yours is the salty variety of Feta, like mine, don't bother to add any extra.

What you need:

Broad beans: 500 gm, shelled
Feta cheese: 200 gm (a cup), crumbled
Tomatoes: 4 medium-sized ones, quartered
Garlic cloves: 4-5, crushed
Mint: A fistful, chopped
Green olives (I didn't have any black): A few
Olive oil: 4 tbsp (I used EVOO as that's what I had)
Freshly ground black pepper
More mint for garnish

Shell the beans and boil them in a pan of water until just tender. Drain and set aside.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the tomatoes and garlic. Cook, stirring, until the tomatoes begin to change colour.

Add the feta cheese and toss for a minute. Remove from fire. Mix with the cooked beans, mint, olives and salt and pepper. Garnish with more mint.

Off this goes to Susan, to the eighth helping of My Legume Love Affair.


  1. Happens..sometimes with me too..This reminded me of the unattended Feta lying sorrily in my fridge corner..Looks like a good combo Sra..:)

  2. sra.. that is the kinda recipe I like.. quick cooking which retains all that lovely taste & flavor!

  3. Good recipe. Kids will love cos of the cheese.:)

  4. As usual u started the post with a nice Kick. Looks Good. Pepper would have certainly added up the flavour!

  5. Ahh, that's a wonderful dish...and just the thing to use up my Feta too!

    Hehe, enjoyed your post!

  6. Feeling a bit better now? We are not doing that well here either, raining heavy here and expecting snow tomorrow. Winter won;t go away!! Help! :D

    I envy you for getting those braod beans, I rarely get them here unless I go to Altanta. Dis looks wonderful.I made Feta and Spinach pockets y'day, Trisha loves the combo.

    Take care, hugs to you.

  7. That pic of broad beans is really beautiful.

    Getting clothes altered, Sra come on, the gymming has paid off :D

  8. Sra,
    hi ,its good you are back, how are you feeling now?
    and coming to the recipe ,it does look good and easy...
    I loved the broad beans pic, so beautiful ...
    hugs and smiles

  9. Oh. My. Goodness! This looks and sounds really good. I want some now! Please!


  10. Hi Sra, Now I laugh even more as I can imagine your expression when you write something witty...since now I know what you look like. Such a pleasure meeting you. I do know a very good seamstress here, and you can imagine how unstressful my life must be on that count! So call me if you want to know her place. I am at 94440 20011.
    I love broad beans and that recipe looks really special, and yes, you write so well. Congrats on a super blog.

  11. Guess you're better because you're back at posting. :)
    This is one way I've never seen broad beans cooked. Looks very good.
    Now this is one type of beans I keep seeing here all the time, but feta cheese and "alteration" tailors are two things that are aren't!!

  12. Oh, Varsha, it is very tasty.
    Soma, yeah, what was exciting for me was discovering how that Mediterranean taste of tomatoes and olive oil came through - haven't attempted much in that direction.
    Vidya, not sure it's the kind of cheese kids will like. It's extremely salty.
    Lavi, thanks. Yes, pepper kicked up the flavour several notches.
    Namratha, thanks. It's a handy dish for feta clean-up :)
    Asha, still on antibiotics but managed to eat today. Those broad beans we get v v rarely here, first time I've seen them. We get them at home.
    Sandeepa, thanks. I've lost only 4 kg, not enough to get clothes altered. I get readymades and such altered too.
    Simply, thank you v much.
    Jaya, I feel a little better, thank you. I thought the pic came out even better when it was on the small camera screen. :)
    Paz, you know you're welcome any time.

  13. Oh, I have never eaten broad beans you know? I should so try this.

    And great entry to MLLA! :) I hope you're feeling better now, Sra!

  14. are these also called lima beans? and butter beans? i love them too. - bee

  15. Sounds like a healthy way to enjoy feta cheese, Sra -- and looks delicious too! Belated anniversary wishes to you :)

  16. Hope you're feeling better now! Take care!

    The curry looks so good with the combo of broad beans and feta. Mouth-watering.

  17. It has been years I ve seen broad beans. What a fusion recipe u have came up!

  18. Pedatha, thanks for your comment, and compliments.
    A & N, I've seen them in only one of the two states I've lived in, so that's no surprise. I'm feeling better slowly, thanks.
    Bee, not butter beans, but probably lima. I've mailed you.
    Linda, yeah, it seems to be a fairly classic recipe. And thanks ;)
    Uma, I am feeling better, thanks. It's supposed to be a salad but I don't blame you for thinking it's a curry, it looks like one, with all that gravy!!!
    Cham, no, it's not fusion. It's fairly classic Greek, from what I've gathered.

  19. I love feta in everything, this is quite a combo you've come up with!

  20. Sounds lovely,and i just love these beans in curries,in stirfries,in sprouts too.Its just that we rarely get these around the place i live.Most of the time,its my mom who send these over to me,and i truly enjoy relishing dishes made from these beans.This looks like a keeper recipe,would surely like to experiment on it next time when ,i am receiving a batch from my mom ;-)

  21. I like the saltiness of feta too and what a unique recipe incorporating that and beans... looks delish. Liked your cute title too :)

  22. Sig, it's quite a classic Greek combo, from what I learn, I saw it in a book.
    Alka, I just got a big batch of these, unfortunately they weren't good.
    Laavanya, Even I thought it was unique when I discovered the recipe. Thanks :)

  23. My tailor's a pain in the prat to visit, too, but the service is excellent. Would there was a vegetable cart around to compensate me for whining about no parking. ; D

    Super recipe, Sra! Fresh broad beans are a lovely find!