Wednesday 12 December 2012

Broad Bean Casserole

From The Very Best of Vegetarian Cooking, ed Janet Hunt, Thorsons, 1991.

This recipe was listed as a family favourite so should have been a tasty dish but as I made it I had more and more doubts. These, however, were dispelled when it was eaten.

A little over 500g of broad beans was placed in a salted boiling pot of water and cooked until done. The recipe did not call for the tougher outer skin of the beans to be removed so it was left on. This was my first concern.

A green capsicum, a couple of celery sticks and two carrots were chopped finely and sautéed in a pan while the beans were cooking.

The beans and the sautéed vegetables were mixed together and a little less than 300ml of stock added. This was my second concern as it seemed far too much liquid. A teaspoon of mixed dried herbs was stirred in with salt and freshly ground black pepper. About 80g of grated cheddar cheese was also added. The lot now went into a casserole and into a 200ºC oven for half an hour. The recipe called for a 20 minute cooking time but when I tasted it the bean skins needed a bit longer.

It now had about 30g grated cheddar sprinkled on top and it went back into the oven for anther 10 minutes.

This actually turned out to be quite a tasty dish. It was still very watery, rather like vegetables in broth. It won’t become a family favourite but it was pleasant for a change.

The recipe comes from a compilation book. Recipes from The Best of Vegetarian Cooking series had been culled and brought together in this book so they come from a variety of chefs. Each recipe, unusually, has the ingredients list in two columns, one English and the other American. When you first look at the recipe you think it has a large list of ingredients until you realise you have two lists. I have not used it much before but must investigate further. Flipping through the pages I came across what appears to be a recipe of cultural clash: Chow Mein with Ratatouille Sauce. That could be more confusion than fusion.

Taste: ✔✔✔
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔✔

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