November 15, 2011

Broad Beans and Quinoa

It was a ferociously hot day here in Sydney yesterday, the hot winds were blowing straight from the Outback and the only place to hide the heat was an air-conditioned space - the office, a car or a shopping centre. I felt like melting. My body, having spent the first 24 years in the moderate climate of the Arctic circle, does not cope with heat very well. In my 6 years of living in Sydney, I still haven't acclimatised enough to handle days like this one. And It is certainly not helping that during this time of the year, my natural way of thinking would be to start preparing comforting autumn casseroles, warming soups and stews. Fortunately the vivid spring produce is gently directing me back on the right track and inspiring me to cook foods more suitable for the hot days to come.


 I picked up a huge bag of gorgeous broad beans from my local green grocer. Simply prepared with quinoa and some of these preserved lemons I stashed away some weeks ago, they were a perfect meal for a warm night. You could add fresh herbs, like parsley and lemon, along with some finely chopped spring onions in the dish. Be careful not to cook the broad beans for too long, you want to keep them more like al dente, than make them mushy.

 Broad Beans and Quinoa
(serves 2-4)
(recipe adapted from Gourmet Traveller)

 200g quinoa, rinsed
375ml water
1kg broad beans
pinch of sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 wedge preserve lemon*
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
shallot green/spring onion, finely sliced (optional)
fresh herbs (optional)

* see my recipe for preserved lemons here.

1. Place the rinsed quinoa in a medium sized saucepan. Add the water and bring to boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat, cover the pan with a lid and let sit for a further 5 minutes. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and set aside.

2. Remove the outer bods of the broad beans and blanch the beans in plenty of boiling water for just a couple of minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water, then peel the inner skins off the beans. 

3. Finely chop the zest of the preserved lemon (discarding the flesh) and add it to the quinoa. Season the quinoa with some fresh lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add in the broad beans, shallots and fresh herbs. Serve as a salad or a side dish to fish.


  1. Awwww you poor Scandinavian you ;) Honestly, it WAS fricking hot yesterday, but you're AUSSIE now, you have to try and get used to it hehe. Well, you'll have ocean breezes to help you with that soon. Anyway, I LOVE broad beans but Panu doesn't which is sad.. but luckily we both adore quinoa. We also had quinoa for dinner last night!

  2. Beautifully fresh and healthy!



  3. I never eat broad beans, they're so hard to find in Belgium... But I love those 'easy' and neat dishes!

  4. delicious, simple, fresh! Also, don't worry about not accimatising to the heat, I was born and raised Aussie and dislike anything above 30 and get really tetchy around 33+, its just uncomfortable, thank goodness for those air conditioned spaces!

  5. I've never been able to get used to the heat and humidity. I lived in QLD for over a decade and never learned to tolerate it. Sydney is way cooler so I'm grateful for the summers we have here; much more tolerable! Hope your new place has air con!
    Love the salad btw!

  6. I've had this recipe bookmarked in my gourmet traveller magazine for ages... we have a few broad beans finally ripening on our plants so will have to give it a whirl. At the start of the year we moved from NZ to Perth and already I'm getting nervous about the 40 degrees + days.. ekk!

  7. What I would give for a warm breeze instead of this frigid northeast air! This dish looks like the perfect way to pretend I am in warm weather, however :)

  8. Looks delicious!
    I have eaten broad beans a couple of times but never cooked with it myself.
    Looking at this recipe I feel like I might want to try it some time.

  9. What a beautiful color and your shot of bean in a pod is amazing. Love the light green color. I haven't tried quinoa yet - I know I should... Thanks for the great inspiration!

  10. I adore broad beans! Beautiful recipe here, Maria :) The beans are so vibrant! & I am a huge fan of preserved lemon in my quinoa. Bliss!
    Heidi xo

  11. This looks beautifully simple and refreshing - perfect for a boiling hot day (sadly we're not getting many of those in the UK at the moment!).

  12. Broad beans and quinoa are common ingredients in Peruvian cuisine. Try this dish with lime instead of lemon and chopped coriander.

  13. I know this looks healthy... but wow... it looks delicious too! I wish i can find those quinoas here...

  14. This looks like the perfect antidote to the upcoming feeding frenzies that are about to begin! ;-) Lovely photos, and I love the texture combination of the beans and quinoa. Can't wait to give this a try.

  15. my little girl loves peeling broadbeans, she thinks it's a great game!
    Don't think anyone can be accustomed to that heat, it was revolting.

  16. This looks like a gorgeous bean dish, and perfect for the heat. I envy your hot weather - we have a snowstorm and icy temps coming here. I'm going to be in Sydney and Canberra next month and can't wait to enjoy the warmth!


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