Photo ©Evie Saffron Strands
Our first Broad Beans of spring usually come from Italy and, this year, they began to arrive in the first week of March. Now English Broad Beans are with us.
Very early small bean pods can be cooked whole and eaten simply smothered in melted butter. As they become larger, they need to be removed from their pods. Late Broad Beans are best podded, boiled and then popped out of their grey-green outer skins to reveal the vibrant green kernel. This removes not just toughness but the bitterness that can become more pronounced when the season is ending. Even late crops can be tasty if treated right. By this time the kernels may have taken on a mealy texture but can be pureed and spread on warm toast, used for a pasta sauce or be added to soups. Broad Beans have a particular affinity with bacon so what’s nicer than a warm salad of cooked beans with new potatoes, bacon and peppery rocket or English watercress.