Recipe and Facts – Broad Beans

Broad beans are green legumes that come in pods.

They have a slightly sweet, earthy flavour and are eaten by people all over the world.

Broad beans are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein. They’re thought to offer impressive health effects, such as improved motor function and immunity.

They’re rich in plant protein, folate and several other vitamins and minerals. They’re also loaded with soluble fibre that can aid digestion and lower cholesterol levels.

Recipes

Broad bean and bacon risotto

Broad bean and mint dip

Broad bean and bacon risotto from Olive magazine

  • 1½l chicken or vegetable stock – if you cook your veg in water freeze it for risottos
  • 400g broad beans Or what you have! After cooking these can be skinned, but it’s not necessary with fresh beans.
  • 50g butter
  • 1 onion , finely chopped
  • 8 rashers bacon , about 200g , finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove , crushed
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 1 glass white wine
  • pecorino shaved or grated, to serve

Heat the stock in a pan and add the broad beans, cook for 3 minutes then scoop them out.

Melt a large knob of butter in a large pan and fry the onion and bacon for about 5 minutes until the onion is tender, add the garlic and cook for a minute.

Stir in the rice, coating every grain in butter.

Add the wine and stir until it has been absorbed, then add the stock a ladleful at a time, stirring until it has been absorbed but so that the risotto is still wet enough to just hold its shape.

Season. Stir in another knob of butter and half of the broad beans.

Spoon the risotto into bowls and top with more broad beans and pecorino.

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Broad Bean and Mint Dip

  • 500g frozen podded broad beans (use fresh if they’re in season)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 7-8 sprigs fresh mint, leaves picked and chopped
  • Small bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, chopped
  • 100ml light olive oil

Cook the beans in a pan of lightly salted boiling water for 3-5 minutes, then drain, reserving 150ml of the cooking water, and leave to cool.

Peel the broad beans, then whizz in a food processor with the remaining ingredients until smooth, adding a little cooking water to loosen as needed. Season to taste and serve.

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