Broad Beans with Cumin & Parsley
Favas Com Cominhos e Salsa
Broad beans are a popular ingredient in Lisbon, and there are lots of different ways to prepare them, from tossing them with garlic and oil to dressing them with finely chopped onion and coriander. (Unsurprisingly, they are often found served with finely chopped fried chorizo or bacon.) This is my favourite way to prepare broad beans, which we discovered during a meal at a tiny restaurant called Cantinho Lusitano. Don’t skip shelling the beans – the leathery shells conceal delicate, sweet, bright green little beans. They are far more delicious without their jackets.
Serves 4 as a salad or side, or as part of a spread of petiscos
400g broad beans (fresh or frozen; if fresh, 400g is the podded weight)
1½ tsp ground cumin
pinch of Portuguese flor de sel or other flaky sea salt
5 tbsp olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
handful of flat-leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped, to serve
Pod the beans, if they are in pods, then blanch them in salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain and refresh in cold water. Slip the tender beans out of their skins into a bowl and set aside.
Mix the cumin, salt, olive oil and some freshly ground black pepper together in a bowl. Dress the beans with the oil mixture. This is best served warm, so if the beans have cooled while shelling them, warm them briefly in a small pan.
To serve, taste to check the seasoning, then add the chopped parsley and stir through.
Extracted from Lisbon: Recipes from the Heart of Portugal by Rebecca Seal (Hardie Grant, approx €29). Photography © Steven Joyce.