A few months back I harvested many bags of fresh spring shoots. Go here and here for preparation of the shoots for freezing or immediate consumption. Remember that blanching and leaching of the fresh shoots is essential, regardless of how plump and tempting they look.
Because I live well away from shops and conveniences, dried beans, lentils, peas and the like are a big part of my diet. They are neither a health food nor a punishment food, they are just a food. Over time, I’ve learned to avoid the gas and digestive difficulties that come with these dried seeds.
Firstly, whether or not the beans, pulse etc are soaked, I discard the water from the first few minutes of boiling. Most of the problem chemicals go, most of the flavour stays.
Secondly, no salt, sugar or acid is added till the seeds are tender, as these things tend to harden the proteins or whatever, making them less palatable and digestible. A little charcoal in the cooking water has the reverse effect and is probably desirable.
Lastly, certain spices and herbs make lentils and beans more easy to assimilate. Cumin is a frequent addition, as are turmeric, fennel, carraway and the odd cinnamon quill.
The other day I realised the cupboard was bare, except for some split peas and brown rice.
So, after cooking the split peas as described above, thickened with brown rice, I added bamboo shoots from the freezer. What struck me was how perfectly they had come through the freezing process. Tenderly crunchy and asparagusly delicious. (Shut up WordPress spell corrector!)
It’s hardly a summer thing, but dressed with cheese and olive oil, or Maldon Salt and sesame oil, it goes down. Oh yeah, it goes down.