Broad beans are sleeping in their blankety beds

The title of this post refers to a true musical classic: the song "Cauliflowers fluffy, and cabbages green", sung at that esteemed educational establishment, Milton Road Infant School, Cambridge. I remember it being a highlight of my childhood, and it is possibly to thank for my appreciation of all things vegetable. I always remember the line about broad beans in their blankety beds, and a more accurate gastronomic observation, I think, has yet to be found. Because broad beans do indeed sleep in their blankety beds: the inside of the pod is soft as a feather. There is something rather nice about all the little beans snuggled up inside in their green duvet.

I love broad beans, and was rather excited when I spied a tray at my greengrocer's. This excitement swiftly doubled when I noticed the tray of fresh peas next to it. Yes, you can buy both frozen all year round, but there are few food-related tasks more satisfying than podding fresh peas or broad beans, and I whiled away a happy fifteen minutes doing so (though had I been cooking for more people than just myself, it may have become tedious...who knows). You feel you've put more effort into a dish if you've laboriously podded its ingredients.

Broad beans and peas are lovely with ham or bacon, but unfortunately someone had stolen the last of the ham from the fridge, otherwise I would have just boiled them, tossed them with some garlic oil and cubes of ham and eaten it like that. Instead, I went for something just as good, replacing the salty ham or bacon with feta and adding some couscous for the simple reason that I am mildly addicted to its texture. I also added some parmesan: broad beans and pecorino is a classic Italian combination, and parmesan is the closest thing to pecorino, which I didn't have. Boiled broad beans and peas, garlic oil, couscous, salt, pepper, chopped mint and fresh oregano, pumpkin seeds, grated parmesan and crumbled feta, and some chargrilled courgette for extra greenness. That was lunch.