The season for fresh broad beans is a short one. But nothing is more delicious than fresh broad beans! A vibrant green colour and sweet earthy flavour is always a winning combination. These little polpette (balls) are reminiscent of middle eastern falafel – the differece being the breading on the outside and the delicious little surprise on the inside of creamy melted feta cheese! These are fabulously addictive! Broad beans may be a bit of a faff to prepare, but once you try these delicious little polpette you’ll forget all about that. Try them NOW!
For the polpette:
350 g of fresh Fava beans (peeled) (see below)
1 clove of garlic (crushed into paste)
1 tablespoon fresh mint (chopped)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley (chopped)
1/2 tablespoon plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon of cumin
Salt & Pepper
60g feta cheese
1 cup flour (seasoned with salt & pepper)
1 cup fine breadcrumbs
Vegetable or canola oil for frying
In a food processor, blend together all the polpette ingredients into a semi smooth consistency. Not too creamy.
Take out a little of the mixture and roll it in your hands into a golf ball sized ball (polpette). Press into the polpette with your index finger (not all the way through) and then add about 1/2 teaspoon ball of feta into the hole. Cover up the cheese, and roll the polpette back into its shape. Arrange on a plate while you do the same with the remaining mix.
Arrange three bowls, one with the flour, one with the beaten egg, the next with the breadcrumbs.
Roll a polpette in the flour, then dip into the egg, then roll in the breadcrumbs and arrange on the plate again. Repeat with all the polpette. Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up and “set”.
Heat about 3cm of oil in a large, deep frying pan. When hot but not smoking, drop in a few polpette to fry. Let them cook for 4-5 minutes, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and repeat until all are cooked.
I served mine with a simple warm tomato passata drizzled over alongside a fresh rocket salad.
NOTE: Peeling broad beans.
Firstly, remove the beans from their pods. Bring a large pan of water to a rolling boil – tumble in the beans and boil for 1 minute. Drain and immediately submerge the beans into ice cold water to stop the cooking process. Now, take out a bean and using your fingernail gently press into the top side part of the bean to make a slit. Gently squeeze the bean and it should easily pop out. Discard the skin and continue…