Broad Beans with Swiss Chard
This is a nice vegetarian and vegan dish!
Broad beans are known as Koukia (koo-KYAH) in Greek. Split dried Broad / Fava beans are easy to cook and don’t need soaking; the beans cook from dry in about 25-30 minutes.
Broad beans been grown in Britain since the Iron Age and are delicious and nutritious, however, some people should avoid them as they can cause a condition called Favism. Favism is only seen in people who have a Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency.
In Cyprus, broad beans are not given to young children in case they become anaemic; my sister still refuses to eat them. They are eaten through the year with a dressing of virgin olive oil and lemon juice and traditionally accompanied with tsakistes (green cracked olives), salted fish, chunks of onions and crusty bread.
500g dried split broad beans
2 large bundles of Swiss chard (seskoula), washed and chopped into large pieces
2 ½ litres of water, approx
Virgin olive oil
Wash and strain the beans and put them in a large pot with water. Bring to the boil and cook for about 10-15 minutes, skimming them if necessary.
Add the washed chard (white stems first), then the leaves or spinach – you may need to add more hot water, season with salt and pepper and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the leaves have softened.
To serve, remove with a slotted spoon into bowls. Add olive oil and lemon juice, sprinkle with a little chopped parsley and serve accompanied with Cypriot green olives, onion, radishes, Kohlrabi, salted fish and bread.