Isn't 'legume' a lovely word? It sounds languid and louche and not at all like a prim and proper pod dweller. Anyway, as 2016 is the international year of pulses (I kid you not), I've 'bean experimenting'. The legume family has been pulverised for centuries, producing gluten-free flours that are at the heart of Indian, North African and South European cuisines, but despite being a nation of green and pleasant land lovers, the nearest the UK has come to such culinary crushing is mushy peas.
Not any more - British company Hodmedod's (another lovely word that means curled up like a snail or hedgehog) now has its fingers on the pulse, producing homegrown pea and bean products that includes a range of flours.
I'm particularly partial to their finely ground green pea flour - the perfect partner for fishy dishes, it's ideal for thickening a parsley sauce or to add creamy substance to a piscine pie. Unsurprisingly, it's also good company for vegetables - particularly peas. Experimenting with a minty petits pois vibe, I baked a verdant shortcrust in tiny barquette tins for these perfectly petite canapés. The recipe is here on the Great British Chefs website.
Oh, and if the mention of fava beans only conjures up the cinematic spectre of Lecter, try my lip smacking flatbreads. The chianti is optional.