Growing and Cooking Broad Beans

- Advertisement -

This year I got very excited about the prospect of growing broad beans. 
There were two aspects to this.  Frstly I like eating broad beans,  although I probably have never had them in any quantity and most of the broad beans I have used have been frozen which I always double pod.  Secondly I heard that they were good for returning carbon to the soil and so would make a positive addition to them compost once they had finished.

I planted the beans higgeldy piggeldy in spaces around my garden and then once they were up and growing I realised that they should have been in neat rows for staking.  Neat rows were formed by transplanting some and others were left to do their thing – whatever it ending up being….

My gardening is all trial and error and I really didn’t quite know what to expect.  I also hadn’t seen too many bees around the flowers although there are often bees in the borage which is in a different part of the garden.  I had to laugh at myself heading out with brown sugar and water in a spray bottle to spray over the foliage to encourage bees and realised I was way too late and it was completely unneccessary as the beans were already growing.

I now have beans galore – I didn’t realise that there would be so many!  Even the plants that I didn’t stake have grown relatively upright and are covered in beans.

Here on foodlovers we have recipes for

broad beans with asparagus and pasta
pasta con primizie
soupe au pistou

I know also that I can steam them and serve them as I would other vegetables.

But what else???  Broad bean ideas gratefully received!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

20 thoughts on “Growing and Cooking Broad Beans

  1. We are growing broad beans for the first time and hubby, bless him planted higgedly piggedly but what a crop! So far 6 bags in the freezer and more coming on in the garden. These are so much better than the ones you buy in the supermarket! Have lots of new recipes to try! Broad Beans actually Rock! :o)

  2. When the Broadbeans have grown to the required height, you can pinch out the tops and cook in very little water absolutely delicious.

  3. Fiona, did you get sick on the raw broad beans? Last night I ate several mature raw broad beans from the garden and today I feel like I have the stomach flu. I found a website that says they contain a toxin that is inactivated by boiling for 10 min.

  4. Fiona, did you get sick on the raw broad beans? Last night I ate several raw broad beans, shell and all. Today I feel like I have the stomach flu. My husband remembered reading that they can make you sick. I found a website that says if you boil them for 10 min or more, that destroys or reduces the toxin.

  5. Frozen broad beans should be widely available at supermarkets – wonder why you can’t find them. I must take a look at our local NW and see if they are there.

  6. Helen – you mention frozen broad beans ….but from where ? I love broad beans, but the two Foodtowns near me ( Onehunga and Mt. Roskill) don’t stock the frozen ones, nor Pak’N Save at Royal Oak ( which is now HUGE). Ay suggestions?
    Regards……. Max C.

  7. I have been eating them straight off the plant today, but I read you all talking about shelling them! Am I going to get sick?

  8. There is a very Mediterranean cooking Broad bean.
    Simply its Broad beans with Rice and pieces of meats and herbs Dill/ Fennel ……it’s very tasty served with yogurts

  9. If you have Guinea Pigs – they love the foliage and the pods.
    Pick the young leaves and add them to your salads, along with the young borage leaves and borage flowers (removing the spiky bit in the middle) (they taste a bit like cucumber).

  10. I love a simple salad made with double podded braod beans lightly mashed, chopped toasted almonds, crispy bacon, olive oil and lemon juice and shavings of parmesan. Yum! I bought some at the farmers market on Sunday – yet to use them yet

  11. Pick the small ones and use them fresh in salads – they have a lovely fresh pea flavour.
    I have podded a whole lot and chucked in the freezer to add to soups etc for winter.
    Another Annabel Langbein recipe is to make Broad Bean Pesto – I have tried it and it is very nice – uses about 500g podded beans.

  12. Paella? Traditionally they use Garrofe beans in Spain but broad beans are a good substitute.
    Risotto with broad beans, mint and parmesan.
    Spanish broad beans with eggs and ham (Annabel Langbein) – this is surprisingly nice for lunch with crusy bread.