Broad Bean and Butter Bean Puree with Horseradish | A Mash, Spread or Dip

The secret to great tasting broad beans is double peeling

Broad Bean and Butter Bean Puree with Horseradish

It is easy to develop an aversion to Broad Beans. Prolific bearers and easy to grow, they are an easy choice for home gardeners and country kitchen gardens. Yet the poor bean is often misunderstood. Instead of being treated tenderly, cooks mistakenly overcooked them to a green-grey mush with a strong taste only masked by other strong tasting ingredients. Unaware that each individual bean has its own skin that needs to be peeled, they were being boiled until that outer skin reached a level of tenderness – and that mean that the inner bean was overcooked.

Yes, the secret to broad beans is that they need to be double peeled. First the fury pod is removed, and then, after blanching, the skin of each bean can be easily slipped off. Young beans are preferable to their older counterparts as their flavour is gentler.

What a difference a peel makes! You might like to read more about broad beans.

Are you perhaps after Broad Bean recipes? Try Fava Bean Puree with Dill, Broad Beans with Fresh PecorinoTawa Broad Beans, and 13 Treasure Happiness Soup.

Or are you looking for Dips and Spreads? Try Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree, Spicy Moroccan Carrot Dip, Thick Yoghurt Tahina Dip, Avocado Mash, and a Quicky Hummus.

You might like to browse all of our Broad Bean recipes and our recipes for Dips. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

This recipe can be used as a condiment, thick dip or a spread. The horseradish gives it quite a kick.


Broad Bean and Butter Bean Puree with Horseradish

Source : from my original, ancient Food_Matters site
Cuisine: maybe Italian?
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 1 min
Serves: 4 – 8 people, depending how you use it

300 grams of cooked lima beans (butter beans) – a can of butter beans is Ok to use
100 g shelled young broad beans (use only young beans – if the shelled beans are white in colour, they are too old)
0.5 medium onion
sea salt and black pepper, freshly ground
4 Tblspn good extra virgin olive oil
1 – 2 heaped tspn horseradish, to suit your taste
juice and rind of 1 lime or 0.5 lemon
splash verjuice, optional
2 Tblspn chopped parsley
1 clove garlic

First, briefly blanch the shelled beans in boiling water – between 10 seconds and 30 seconds will be more than enough. Drain them immediately and then peel away the thick outer skin to reveal the tender  green beans. It is fiddly but worth the effort.

Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor, seasoning well. You can process a little, and leave the mash nice and chunky, or you can process until smooth and creamy. If it becomes too thick while processing, add a little more oil or warm water.

Blending to a smooth puree gives a green colour from the parsley and beans. Mashing or blending coarsely gives a cream colour with green flecks.


Broad Bean and Butter Bean Puree with Horseradish

recipe notes and alternatives
The horseradish in this is a touch of genius. However, a little chilli, chilli sauce or chilli jam (just a little) could be used instead of the horseradish.

Some tahini mixed in gives it a measure of creaminess. Or add a dollop of thick cream. Delightful.

Use any white beans e.g. cannellini beans, in place of the butter beans.

Soaked and cooked dried fava beans (dried broad beans) can be substituted for fresh broad beans.

serving suggestions

  • Serve on toast, bruschetta, or crusty bread. And with some good cheddar cheese and olives. Or spread toast with ricotta and top with the mash.
  • Or use some crackers and serve as a dip.
  • Char-grill some eggplant slices, and serve, layered with the spread and accompanied by a green salad.
  • Accompany a plate of roast vegetables with the spread.
  • Drop a Tblspn in the centre of a bowl of creamy soup.
  • Serve the puree with sauteed mushrooms and parmesan crisps.

Broad Bean puree with sauteed mushrooms and parmesan crisps

Mashed, rather than pureed, gives a courser texture and a lighter colour.

This is cross posted with our sister site, Heat in The Kitchen, where it appears as part of the Retro Recipes series.



Author: Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.

15 thoughts on “Broad Bean and Butter Bean Puree with Horseradish | A Mash, Spread or Dip”

  1. Hmmm, I used to throw the broad beans out of my organic vege box, until i discovered that they should be doubly peeled – first the pod then the outer skin of the beans. They are then brilliant for a stir fry!


  2. mmm… I was thinking brad beans for Saturday’s dinner when I stumbled across your blog. Some great stuff here. 🙂 I’m thinking a bed of broadbeans, quinoa salad with herbs and lemon juice.


  3. My husband grew tons of these beans. I hated them with a passion until one day after boiling them for ages I noticed that the outside skin came off and there were lovely little green beans. I went to your web site and found out that this is why people like broad beans. They are so much better once peeled. Thank you for the advice


  4. If you pick broad beans when the pods are about as long as a finger (before the beans are formed) you can cook and eat them whole, like mange tout peas. If you pick them a bit older, when the beans are only 1cm long or less, then the beans are delicious without beeing peeled. It is only if you let the beans grow too large that the skin gets tough.

    Of course, you don’t get nearly 350g of beans out of a kilo of beans picked if you pick them young enough to be delicious unskinned. I found this site when wondering if I could do anything with the pods: perhaps make a stock at least. I haven’t found anything yet.


  5. Beans is the most favorite food of my father , he always have organic food delivered to our house specifically beans. I used to love it then too because of him.


    1. “Back” what does “you are my breathing in” mean?
      i mean i like it and all
      i like it a lot
      i just want to make sure its not a typo

      i had to come here today as i have no clue how to prepare fava beans
      your comment and the name “Back” on top of it really warms my heart
      i like when people express themselves in a unique way



  6. Growing up, my grandfather used to grow his own Broad Beans, and I used to steal the pods and eat the beans raw, I hated them cooked.
    but now some 23 years later, I cannot find them anywhere,
    good to know they are still being used


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