Grow to Love .... Broad Beans

Grow to Love... Broad Beans

Why love… Broad Beans?

 

Treated properly they have a beautiful sweet flavour, a creamy texture and are a wonderful early summer treat.

They are a worldwide phenomenon - having been cultivated for thousands of years, broad beans are a popular food the world over. Today they are a common in Indian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, North African and European cuisines.

Delicious boiled, fried and, when very young, steamed, they are added to stews, pureed, mashed and even dry roasted as a peanut-like snack.

Known as fava beans in the United States, broad beans are high in fibre, protein, potassium and vitamin A.

Did you know?

 

  • Thought to have originated in the Middle East, evidence of their cultivation has been found from as early as 4000 years ago.
  • The Ancient Greeks and Romans used beans to cast votes - a white bean for yes and a black bean for no.
  • There are two main varieties – longpod with around eight small beans per pod, and Windsor - with around four.

Top tips

 

  • Young broad beans are a lovely vegetable side dish for almost any evening meal, when briefly boiled and buttered. Older beans will need their leathery, bitter jackets removed.
  • Stwnsh ffa - or broad bean mash, is a hearty traditional Welsh dish. Simply mash ffa (broad beans) with potatoes and add milk and butter if you like it creamy. Serve with bacon and onions.
  • Baby broad beans are a fine salad ingredient when briefly boiled and mixed with lemon, parsley and seasoning.
  • Once boiled and skinned, fry them with bacon or pancetta and serve with salad to make a crispy, mouth-watering starter.
  • Broad beans are a delight cooked in a creamy white wine and mushroom sauce and served with baked chicken breast.
  • Try pureed broad beans by mashing them with garlic, cumin, herbs and adding cream, to make a luxury hummus-style dip for a dinner party buffet.

Recipe suggestions

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