Guess what, it’s spring! I only say that because of course it isn’t really. Picking broad beans is meant to be easy work, something you do on the first sunny days after what in these parts is usually a damp and cold winter, but over the last two weekends it’s been so hot that I’ve been making heavy weather of it, if you’ll forgive the pun.
But the heat has certainly got these beans going, and after completely filling the fridge with this morning’s harvest, I realised I’d have to do something with the pile of pods on the dining room table. I found a few recipes for broad bean pestos, but none of them addressed my other immediate problem: the profusion of once welcome herbs into monsterous clumps.
With the broad beans now finally all out of the ground, I thought I might as well see if I could at least begin to address the issue of the out of control mint, the rampant oregano, and the plain silly dill. With modest quantities of this terrible troika bathing in a brew of freshly picked garlic, the juice of several Meyer lemons, and some pretty basic olive oil, I boiled up as many beans as I could pod, and whizzed them into the blender with the other ingredients, and then applied the pesto to an unsuspecting bowl of penne.
Having some parmesan cheese handy in the fridge (I completely forgot to bring any food with me this weekend) turned my morning of torment into a solo if sorrily solitary triumph. So I thought it might be a good idea to gather some photogaphic evidence, and luckily the industrial quantities I’ve managed to conjure from our productive patch means that this pesto is set to star in an assortment of scratch meals in the coming week.
Aside from my culinary cunning, however, I’m not sure what I’ve really achieved today. A few hours and several glasses of Italian plonk after the heat of the day has subsided, I’m watering the garden, including the patch where the broad beans stood so tall this morning, and I could swear that those herbs have already found a new haven.