Broad beans are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables known to man. They have been eaten as a staple food since medieval times. Broad beans are a member of the Legume family. Thick fleshy pods protect the edible seeds. Broad beans are a good source of protein and carbohydrate whilst low in fat, which makes them an ideal choice for vegetarian and low fat recipes. They are an excellent source of fibre, Vitamin C, folic acid, pantothenic acid and a good source of Vitamin A and niacin.
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For more information on nutrition and the details given above, check out our nutrition page.
Preparing and Using
Very young beans can be eaten pod and all, but usually they will need to be shelled. They should be cooked in boiling water until tender. They can also be par-boiled and finished off braised in butter. Broad beans can be used in soups, stews, casseroles, cassoulets and salads, and served with couscous, vinaigrette or turned into falafel. Broad beans can be cooked with Serrano ham, garlic, wine and tomatoes and served as a starter or tapas dish. For a simple broad bean purée, blend the cooked beans with garlic cooked in butter, cream and a small amount of fresh herbs such as thyme. Broad beans are useful for vegetarian dishes as they provide nourishment and body to a recipe. Good flavour combinations include soured cream, yoghurt, crème fraiche, blue cheese dressing, nuts, ham, bacon, couscous, tomato, lemon, rosemary, and chilli.
For some Broad Bean recipes, visit the Bord Bia website here
Barbequed Lamb Cutlets with Summer Vegetables
Cooked in minutes either on the barbecue or under the grill!
Striploin Steaks with Roasted Baby Tomatoes and Vegetable Puree
If you are looking for an impressive dish packed full of flavour, then this is it! The purée can be made well in advance. Use whatever green vegetables are in season; or frozen broad beans or peas, which are readily available also work well.