Broad beans are one of the delights of spring. Enjoy them while they last!
They should look moist and crisp, never collapsed and flabby. If you can, select smaller pods. 1kg of fresh beans in the pod will yield about 350g of beans when podded (2/3 cups) and approximately 225g (1 1/2 cups) after double peeling. To do this, the beans are first peeled from the shells, immersed in boiling water for 30 seconds, then quickly run under a cold tap to cool. You nick the outer skins with a fingernail and flip out the green bean within. It is a very time-consuming task, but the beans are virtually cooked by the time the skins are off.
Here are four delicious broad bean recipes perfect for making use of a bumper crop.
Stefano di Pieri's Smashed Broad Beans
Grill sourdough bread on both sides and rub with a cut clove of garlic. Pound young broad beans into a very rough mash using a mortar and pestle. Slosh in some olive oil and transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in some grated pecorino and season with salt and pepper. Pile on to grilled bread and enjoy.
Byessar - Moroccan Broad Bean Dip
Serve this puree with fresh or toasted pita bread and a plate of fat black olives. It can also be used as a dip for raw vegetables or spread on sourdough bread and bubbled under the griller. Find the recipe in the Cook's Companion Book and App.
Andalusian Broad Beans
This recipe is perfect for home-grown broad beans. The pods are eaten as well as the beans. Find the recipe in the Cook's Companion book or App.
Broad Beans with Fetta & Mint
Toss shelled (but unpeeled) raw young broad beans with cubes of fetta cheese, oily black olives, shredded mint leaves, olive oil, lemon juice and freshly ground black pepper. Serve on a flat platter with good bread and a jug of olive oil alongside.
The Cook’s Companion App and book.