Many people seem to be really comfortable with a set routine. And I have to admit, that I am more productive if I have one. But unfortunately I’m not really good at keeping them. In my perfect world, I would get up early in the morning, work out, take a shower, have breakfast and start studying. Let’s say in my real world it doesn’t quite go like this. Every single day is different. Some days I manage to have my ideal morning, others I wake up quite late and don’t do much until I go to bed again. I don’t mind. At least not anymore. Over the years I have learned that when I really need to do something, for example make a deadline, it will be done in time. And I cherish my quiet dream that one day I will learn how to keep a routine. In the mean time I secretly admire those who have one. Those who get out of bed, go to work, do their job, go home, and be in time to have dinner with their loved ones. Those who have to set some time apart on Saturday to do some chores. Those who get to sleep in on Sunday mornings, or go to church, and have the afternoon to themselves. Those who are actually free from work when they are at home. I have been studying since 2008. And although it is something I like to do, I find it difficult that there is always something to do and that my schedule is ever-changing.
What I don’t mind to be ever-changing is what I cook. I really enjoy not having a routine. Yet, I do understand why people would have one. If you have a routine, it makes it a lot easier to decide what you are going to eat. One routine, or eating habit, that is engraved in Dutch culture is eating bread for breakfast and lunch. While growing up, in my family, and I’m sure in many other families as well, there was this rule that the first slice of bread had to be savoury, cheese is an all-time favourite, and the second could be sweet, for example with chocolate sprinkles. When changing my eating habits, breakfast and lunch were the most difficult for me. And although I have many alternatives, like dairy-free overnight oats, smoothies and salads, there are periods when I really just want to eat my two slices of bread. So now I’m on a mission to find or create sandwich fillings that are low in sugar and do not contain alliums.
For a couple of weeks last summer I received a vegetable box with fresh produce from Dutch farmers. I was really impressed, because the produce are picked from the land on Thursday and on Saturday they were delivered in my kitchen by a really nice person with an electric delivery van. And they were so kind to replace anything in the box that I’m allergic to. The fun, and sometimes frustrating, part about this box is, that you don’t have a say in what fruits and vegetables you get. So a couple of times I got something I had never cooked with before. For example cactus figs, parsnips, and broad beans. I do like experimenting with unfamiliar ingredients. But every time I buy or get something new, I let it sit around for a while. Sometimes right up to the moment I almost have to throw it out. But I’m determined to waste as little food as possible, so eventually I come up with something. Except for the time where I received two kilos of oranges instead of two. Then I just couldn’t think of anything. So I juiced them and froze the juice in ice-cube trays.
The broad beans had been lying around in my fridge for some time, until I thought of turning them into a sandwich spread. At the time I had fresh broad beans in the pod. Broad bean season is over, but the recipe works equally as well with frozen ones.
Broad bean spread
- 500 g broad beans in the pod or 175 g frozen
- 2 tsp extra vergine olive oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 15 g grated pecorino
- 15 basil leaves
- salt + pepper
When using fresh broad beans, shell the beans. Cook them in salted water for two minutes. When using frozen broad beans, put them frozen in the boiling salted water. Cook them for seven minutes.
Drain the beans and cool completely under cold running water. Remove the skin of the beans by making a small incision with your nail. Now you will have a bright green been.
Put the cold broad beans, olive oil, lemon juice, pecorino and basil leaves into a food processor. Mix into a coarse spread and add salt + pepper to taste.
Put on a nice slice of bread.
Transfer leftover broad bean spread to a glass jar.
This sandwich spread is good as is, but it is nice to accompany it with mozzarella, rocket, basil leaves and chili oil.
Will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.