I’m pretty confident that, at least once in your life, you’ve probably made, or been served, traditional tinned beans on toast – it might have been for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s a rather quick and simple meal, chances are you think of it as pretty ordinary. I’d like to replace your idea of beans on toast, with something more up market. Green beans on garlic toast may be new to you, but the experience will be worth it. Unlike tinned beans, they are bright and fresh with a medley of Middle Eastern inspired flavours. I know broad beans, like brussels sprouts, sometimes get a bad rep; however as with many foods, it may just be down to the preparation. If you’re really not a broad bean fan – read on – there are alternatives.
Baby green broad beans, unlike fully grown ones are mild in flavour, and even tastier raw just out of the pod. Peeling the greyish-green skin of larger broad beans will remove the bitter flavour, a bit of a labour but worth the effort. A creamy layer of cashew cheese tops the garlic flavoured toast and salty citrus flavoured preserved lemon and fresh mint perfectly complements the baby green beans. Finished off with a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of chilli, for breakfast, brunch or lunch, this is a simply scrumptious way to enjoy broad beans.
If you’re not convinced, or no baby broad beans are available, you could use fresh or frozen peas, edamame beans – or even a mixture of all three.
Green Beans on Garlic Toast
- 1 cup baby green broad beans or peeled broad beans
- Cashew cheese or your favourite feta style cheese
- 4 pieces bread – brushed with olive oil
- 1 preserved lemon, flesh removed and finely sliced or diced
- 1 spring onions
- 12 mint leaves
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- aleppo chilli or sumac
- extra virgin olive oil
- toasted pine nuts
- mint tips
Before you begin, taste one of the broad beans. If they are too firm for your liking you can blanch them. To do this bring a pot of water to the boil. Add a handful of ice to a bowl and fill with water. Blanch the broad beans for 1 minute then plunge into the ice water to halt cooking.
If using frozen broad beans put in a bowl and cover in cold water to defrost, peel the skins if needed.
Finely slice and dice lemon peel, spring onions and mint. Add to a bowl with peeled baby broad beans and a drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Taste and season.
Optional: garnish with a pinch of sumac, a few toasted pine nuts or a few mint tips
Brush the slices of bread with olive oil and use a griddle pan to toast. For an oil free option, pop them in a toaster. Once warm and crispy, rub with a clove of garlic and spread with cashew cream cheese and a few tablespoons of green beans.