I started off with a Good Idea. I saw a falafel recipe done where the fresh broad beans were picked, removed from their cotton wool lined pods, cooked quickly, whizzed with a hand blender along with garlic, onions and spices, then fried off. I liked the idea of not shelling the beans as it reduced Faff time. After all, if it is going to get blended, the outer shell of each bean won’t be noticed, it will be smooshed together with all the other ingredients, plus it will add bulk.
Huzzah! said I. I’m all for easy recipes. I said Huzzah! again just for the hell of it.
At the farm shop yesterday we bought large amounts of fresh peas and there, hiding shyly behind the peapod basket was a smaller basket full of lovely young broad bean pods. They were pounced upon, and hustled into our waiting trolley. (Yes, we need a shopping trolley when we visit the farm shop, no small basket for us!)
This afternoon I sat happily in the garden shelling all the peas. I did have to share one or two peas with tiny caterpillars that had snuk into the pods first but what’s a pea or two among friends? In order to prolong my foray into the sunshine, I podded the broad beans too. No caterpillars in there! No, just a downy softness. The beans looked so comfortable nestled in there that I felt almost guilt to eject them, but I did anyway.
They were lightly cooked, and upended into a bowl ready for blending. Then I looked at how many there were. Not that many, truth be told. Not enough to make a decent batch of falafel and if I am going to go to the trouble of making the things and then frying them, I want a lot of them. Six just isn’t going to do it. I am also not a small scale cook. I can’t get my head around it.
After discovering that I do not have a tin of chickpeas *gasp* and remembering that I didn’t buy any parsley, I spied the colander full of fresh peas. Three handfuls of those have gone in, along with some smoked sea salt, fresh mint and fresh thyme. Bulk was needed though. What on earth did I have that I could pop in to add bulk and help them hold together? Bulghur wheat, that’s what I have. Fine ground, and now sitting absorbing a garlic spiced stock.
I’m not entirely sure this is going to work but I shall try.