Season: Best late June and July
If you grow broad beans , or know someone who does, try cooking the very young broad beans in their pods; the beans are hardly formed and the finger-thick pods are delicious.
However, later on the beans themselves have much to offer. If they’re young and tender, just steam them for about 3 minutes; if they’re a bit older, boiling is best as it softens and tenderises the skin –add salt, barely cover with boiling water and give them 3-4 minutes.
Older broad beans, when quite large, can be blanched in boiling water for 1 minute, then drained and, when cool enough, the skins slipped off. As you do this they will split in 2, then you can finish cooking them in steam till tender – 2-3 minutes.
Broad beans have a wonderful affinity with boiled ham and gammon steaks, and partnered with pancetta (Italian cured bacon) they make a brilliant salad. 1 lb (450 g) of broad beans in the pod will serve 2.
This light, fluffy green purée would be an excellent accompaniment to any pork or bacon dish, and is a lovely partner to some good pork sausages.
This marvellous recipe exploits that wonderful culinary marriage of pork and beans, here coupled with a creamy spring onion and chive sauce. We defy anyone not to love it!
The fresh broad bean season seems to be so short, I always feel the need to feast as much as possible when I can, hence this salad. It's good as a first course or to serve alongside other salads in a cold buffet.
Make the most of summer beans and other vegetables in this gorgeous vegetarian recipe which can be eaten on its own or as an accompaniment. And if the weather is less than kind, you can serve it warm instead of cold as a salad.