Broad beans, Estonian style. Simple, humble, rustic. All you need is fresh broad beans (Vicia faba L, still in pods) - in season just now, some large dill sprigs, water and salt. A perfect late summer dish again..
Beans and peas have been two of the staple ingredients in Estonian peasant diet, and considered almost as important as our other staple, rye bread. Whereas rye bread was usually accompaning every meal, then pea and bean dishes were served on their own. Beans were considered especially nutritious, and in their fresh form were cooked and eaten in pods. That's my preferred way of eating fresh broad beans, too. Broad beans, by the way, formed an important part of European diet until the 17th century, when they was pushed aside by the more elegant green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L), newly introduced potatoes and corn. So consider this dish as 'back to your roots' style of eating...
For a much more elegant version for eating broad beans, see Haalo's WHB entry. To see the same dish pictured elsewhere (I'm talking about the rustic Estonian version), see a post over at Clivia's Cuisine in Sweden.
Salty broad beans, Estonian style
(Keedetud põldoakaunad, lihtsal moel)
fresh broad beans (pods)
sour cream, for serving
Wash the pods (topping & tailing them, if you prefer) and place into a large saucepan of water. Add dill sprigs and about 3-4 Tbsp of salt into the water (alias a lot more than you think you need, as the salt needs to permeate the pods).
Bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the beans are tender.
Drain and serve either hot or cooled, sprinkling with extra salt, if you wish. You don't eat the pods (and you can also remove the skins of the beans, if you so wish, though that's not usually done in Estonia). The individual beans can be dipped into sour cream before eating.
WHB: This is also my entry to the Weekend Herb Blogging, this time hosted by Katie of Thyme for Cooking. Click on the logo below for more information about this established foodblogging event, and here to read Katie's round-up (44 entries!!!).