We continue to champion innovative British produce here at Dovebrook, so this week we are doing a spotlight on beans- in particular fava beans. For a long time we've been using these tasty pulses in our dishes- they feature prominently in our Yellow Thai Curry, and they are incredibly versatile. They come from a company called Hodmedods who we first encountered when we were involved with an organisation called The Food Assembly that was like a city farmers' market- connecting organic growers and producers directly with customers. We love all of Hodmedod's produce- from their pulses, to their grains- they source everything from sustainable British farms and they are the first people in the UK to grow quinoa here on British soil which is very impressive and pioneering! Beans, lentils and peas should always be celebrated as they do a lot of good to the soil, helping to improve its fertility as well as being incredibly good for us. We will never stop singing their praises and looking for exciting new recipes where we can show them off in all their glory!
We've put together a few lovely nibble ideas for when you're entertaining dinner party guests. Rather than doing a predictable chickpea falafel you can simply replace the chickpeas with Hodmedods British grown Fava beans and do an Egyptian style falafel instead! Hodmedods have several recipes for making balls out of beans, and we especially love the falafel one.
We still had beetroots in our veg patch and so with our final haul earlier this month we made a delicious beetroot and cumin hummus to accompany the falafel balls. The hummus is a fantastic stand alone snack- to be devoured with hummus crisps or just with pitta but also great with these falafel balls. They bring a joyfully vibrant colour as well which is what we all need on a grey January day.
1x can 400g Chickpeas
250g Roasted Beetroot
2 tsp ground cumin
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp Tahini
100 ml Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
We roasted the beets with their skins on with some star anise and coriander seeds for 45 minutes. Once cooled simply remove the skins and then blend along with the rest of the ingredients until you get a smooth consistency.
We also made a tahini yoghurt to be drizzled over the falafels which we found compliments the falafels and the hummus perfectly. This dish would of course be an excellent midweek lunch or supper as well with pitta or flatbreads.
A fennel, apple and kohlrabi slaw adds another nice fresh texture and dimension- and could also be used as a nice side dish alongside a Dovebrook hot main meal- you can simply shave all three, or cut into matchsticks and add a vegan yoghurt based dressing.
Fava Bean Falafel Recipe:
(This amount makes 13 falafel balls- you can easily just double the recipe if catering for a crowd)
250g split fava beans
1/2 a red onion, finely diced
1/2 grated carrot
1/2 a bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
Zest of one lemon
Small handful of torn mint leaves
1/2 a red chilli, minced
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
Several pinches of salt and pepper to taste
Rapeseed/vegetable oil for frying
Speed soak or soak the beans overnight- no need to cook them. For speed soaking simply place them in freshly boiled water taken off the heat, for an hour.
In a large frying pan, on a medium heat, add the oil until warm, followed by the cumin seeds. Allow them to fry for 30 seconds and then add the chopped red onion and carrot. Stir and cook for 6-7 minutes, until they are soft and just starting to caramelise. Stir through the other spices, then take off the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes.
Mix the fresh herbs, chilli and cooked onion and carrot mix with the beans and lemon zest. Pulse everything until smooth but not a paste consistency.
Then roll into ping pong sized balls. You could roll these in some black or white sesame seeds here for added texture and flavour.
When you've rolled all the balls place in the fridge, covered, so they can firm up for 30 mins.
Now you are ready to fry the falafel! Simply add some rapeseed oil to a large frying pan, let it warm up on a medium high heat and then add the balls, fry on each side for 3-4 mins until golden brown on both sides.
Tahini Yoghurt Sauce:
25g Silken Tofu
2 tbsp vegan yoghurt
8 mint leaves, minced
Handful of fresh parsley leaves
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp white miso paste
1 tsp maple syrup
Juice and zest from one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine everything in a blender except the water and then pulse adding the water gradually until nice and smooth- the thickness of a double cream is ideal here.
Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Tahini Dip
A simple cumin and Lebanese spiced roasted cauliflower is another great appetiser if you want to avoid a crisp and carb overload before serving dinner! We used Salma Hage's gorgeous Lebanese spice mix recipe tossed with olive oil and cumin seeds. We paired this with a simple tahini and garlic dip with parsley leaves stirred through.
1 cauliflower, broken into bite size florets.
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Lebanese 7 Spice seasoning (a mix of allspice, black pepper, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, ground fenugreek, ground ginger)
1 tsp lightly toasted and then crushed cumin seeds
Pre-heat the oven to 180 C.
Toss the cauliflower in the olive oil and the spices. Transfer to a baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes until crisp and golden.
Garlic Tahini Dip:
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 Tbsp tahini
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Handful of parsley leaves, chopped
Pinch of salt and pepper to taste
Add the garlic cloves with a pinch of salt to a small bowl and combine. Then add the tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, pepper and a splash of water. Mix well before stirring in the parsley leaves.
Hopefully these have provided some fresh inspiration for some interesting nibble ideas, if you fancy a change from serving crisps or olives and want to try your hand at making a few things from scratch- it's incredibly satisfying sometimes to do this!
El and Sham x