Broad beans have a strong taste and can be chewy, characteristics that put off some people from eating them, but broad bean couscous is a great way for the whole family to enjoy broad beans.
The trick to preparation is double shelling the beans to leave the soft, sweeter inner bean. This part of the bean has no chewiness and a more mild flavour.
When combined with couscous, onion, tomato, garlic, and a pepper, the result is a brightly coloured salad full of goodness that the whole family can enjoy.
Watch How To Make Broad Bean Couscous
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This recipe involves double shelling the broad beans and peeling tomatoes of their skin, making the meal easy to eat even for children.
The first step with the broad beans is removing them from their pods. Then add the beans to boiling water and leave to simmer for about 3 minutes. Remove from the water and set aside.
When the broad beans are cold enough to handle, make a small cut in the top of the bean and squeeze out the inner bean. The inner beans are soft and delicate, with no chewy skin. The outer skin is discarded. If you don’t mind chewiness in the beans, this step can be skipped.
De-skinning the tomatoes is even easier than shelling the broad beans. Place the unchopped tomatoes in the pan. Tomatoes only need a minute or so in boiling water. Afterwards, remove from the water to cool. The skin will naturally have wrinkled and split whilst boiling. All that is required is to gently remove the skin with your fingers. When all are peeled, chop the tomatoes into small chunks.
The only other vegetable that needs cooking in advance is the onion. After chopping, add a little olive oil to a pan and fry gently over a medium heat stirring regularly. Cover with a lid to keep the juices in. The onion is done when it has a golden colour and is sweet to the taste.
The red pepper needs to be chopped finely but does not need cooking in advance. Similarly with the garlic. Add as much garlic as you and your family like.
Adding a stock cube to the water helps to improve the flavour of the couscous. Measuring the stock and the couscous helps, as if added in the right proportions there is no need to drain the mixture after cooking (draining is hard to do as the couscous is so fine).
Once all the ingredients are prepared, making the couscous salad is very straightforward. Add to the onion pan the red peppers, broad beans, chopped tomatoes, garlic, couscous, and stock – and give a really good stir and cover.
Simmer over a medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir regularly to avoid any couscous sticking to the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat or add more boiling water if necessary.