Three ways with starchy broad beans

The first broad beans of the season are a delicacy that doesn’t require more than a pinch of salt, but not all broad beans are created equal. As the beans mature on the plant, they become starchier, making them less suited to the quick-blanch-double-pod method. Fortunately, these slightly older beans can still be turned into wonderful meals. So, if you’ve come to the end of your broad bean harvests, or if you’ve bought end of season beans that are a bit starchier, here are three simple meal suggestions to make the most of them.

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Early broad beans, blanched for 1 minute, then double podded and seasoned with salt and pepper

THREE WAYS WITH STARCHY BROAD BEANS

1.

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Lemony broad bean & green pea spread

This is a zesty take on mushy peas that’s great on a slice of toast. If you don’t have broad beans you could even make it with just peas.

Ingredients:

broad beans (double podded)

green peas

lemon juice

lemon zest

salt

pepper

olive oil

water

  • Boil the broad beans for 5 minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water and slide off the shells.
  • Boil the peas for 8 minutes and drain.
  • Mash the peas and broad beans in a bowl with a little water to loosen it up, then add olive oil, lemon juice and zest, black pepper and sea salt.

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2.

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Broad beans with bulgur, feta and lime.

Ingredients:

single podded broad beans

firm lettuce (optional)

onion

bulgur

olive oil

salt

pepper

feta

lime juice and zest with a good pinch of salt stirred in

cherry tomatoes

  • cover the bulgur with twice the volume of boiling water and leave to soak for 10 minutes.
  • Heat olive oil in a casserole and add chopped onion and broad beans, fry with a pinch of salt on medium heat then stew on low heat until the onions are brown, the beans are soft inside and their skins slightly caramelised.
  • Season with black pepper and stir in some chopped lettuce until wilted (optional)
  • Combine bulgur and beans, dress with lime zest and juice and top off with fresh tomatoes, sea salt and feta.

3.

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Pasta with broad beans in tomato sauce

single-podded broad beans

onion

salt

garlic

peeled tinned tomatoes

black pepper

pasta of choice

pecorino romano cheese

  • Stew onions and broad beans as described above.
  • Add garlic and sautee for a minute, then add tomatoes. Break them up with a wooden spoon and season the sauce to taste with black pepper and some salt.
  • Stir in cooked pasta of choice, then serve and top off with sea salt flakes and/or heaps of grated pecorino cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.
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Single podded broad beans.

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