The smaller beans can be used as they are, but the mid to large ones, with tougher grey skin, will have to be peeled after cooking. Just pinch the skin between your nails and the bean will pop out.
The beans can be served either warm or at room temperature. If you want to serve them warm and you are making the salad in advance, you can always give them a quick flash in the microwave just before serving.
BROAD BEAN AND YOGURT SALAD
4 large handfuls of podded broad beans
75-100 ml extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a small handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, bashed
a pinch of dried chilli
a handful of stale breadcrumbs
285 ml natural Greek yogurt or soured cream
Blanch the beans in unsalted boiling water for a couple of minutes, giving the large ones a bit longer (don’t add salt, as this will toughen the skins). Drain well and remove and discard the grey skins from the larger beans if necessary.
Place the beans in a bowl with half of the chopped mint.
Mix the juice of 1 lemon and the olive oil together. Taste and adjust with more lemon juice if necessary. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Pour over the beans and stir to mix. The beans should be completely covered by the oil mixture. Set aside to marinate until 5 minutes before serving when you will prepare the crunchy topping.
In a shallow pan, on a medium heat, fry the chopped onion, cumin seeds and chilli in a little olive oil. Stir and cook until softened.
As the onions start to colour, add your breadcrumbs and mix these really well into the onions, adding a little more oil if necessary.
Continue to cook until the crumbs are crispy and golden, season them to taste and put to one side.
To serve, divide the yogurt or sour cream between four plates or bowls.
Give the broad beans a final toss, and add the rest of the mint leaves. If you want to reheat the beans in the microwave, do it before adding the remaining mint and only heat them for a few seconds as you want them warm not hot.
Using a slotted spoon, divide the beans between the plates, on top of the yogurt, leaving a thin film of the oil over the top. Finally, sprinkle over the onion and breadcrumb mix and serve.