“I’m a perfectionist”.
That should be your opening line if you want me to run a mile. And then, you’ll never have to see me again.
To be perfectly honest, perfection makes me yawn. I try to do it as surreptitiously as possible, so as not to appear too common. But between you and me, perfect is tedious. Even the word seems stuck-up, wearing a stiff suit and black tie. I like my adjectives a little more loose-limbed.
Maybe it’s because I’ve never done anything that comes close to being perfect. Never could, never tried. My shoes never matched my bags. My cakes are often born with bad posture. And my table manners need tweaking. (An elbow on the table is so convenient!)
I love cities that are a little rough around the edges. And faces that don’t follow symmetry. I like my daughter in socks that don’t match. I hate books arranged by height. And I won’t have identical lamps on either side of the bed.
Things are beautiful when they’re just a little bit out of place. When they’re not quite right. Without that, Pisa would be just another little city.
Now, for broad beans.
Yes, it was all boiling down to broad beans. Sorry.
As its season progresses, broad beans become a little too big, and a little bit bitter. So, the ones I bought from the farm shop this week were not as tender as they could have been. Not quite perfect.
But again, they were. Perfect for my Broad Bean & Pistachio Hummus. The slight bitterness of the beans gave the hummus a little sharpness, and the pistachios balanced it with its blunt, sweet hint.
It was my kind of perfect.
Broad Bean & Pistachio Hummus, with roasted coriander seeds
2 cups shelled broad beans
1/2 cup pistachios
1/2 tsp coriander seeds, roasted and crushed
2 cloves garlic
2 tbs olive oil
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
Boil the broad beans in water for 4-5 minutes till tender. Let it cool, then slip the beans out of the skins.
Mix the beans with the rest of the ingredients, and put in in a blender. Blitz to a coarse puree.
Add a little more olive oil if it seems too dry.
Taste, then tweak seasoning, ading more salt, pepper and lemon juice if needed.