Broad and Butter Bean Mash


I am sure you will know what I mean when I tell you that I grew up with broad beans – by the truck load. Being a country girl we grew our veggies and broad beans are so very easy to grow. And so very prolific. I hated them.

We used to boil the diggins out of them, and serve them up in a mess of grey-green mush. Appetising!

I tried again when I was growing my own veggies, but, well, I could not get over the taste. There was only one or two ways I could bear to eat them.

So when Cook Anything Once lately had a post on broad beans and how you should peel them – well it was a revolution for me. So on Saturday at the Organic Veggie shop at the Central Market I picked up a few.

I dug out the old recipe from my old web site. I blanched and peeled those broad beans according to Cook Anything Once’s instructions. I made the chunky pate.

What a difference a peel makes!


Do not overcook Broad Beans

Also, Cook Anything Once says:

Broad beans are one of those vegetables that seem to suffer the curse of being overcooked. The key to their enjoyment is a two step process. First, briefly blanch the podded beans in boiling water – between 30 seconds and a minute will be more than enough.

Drain them immediately and then peel away the thick outer skin to reveal the tender deep green beans. It is fiddly but well worth the effort as soon as you taste that sweet hidden jewel.

Unfortunately people will still boil the beans until that outer skin is tender, a process that destroys the character of the bean.When you take a close look at that outer skin you can see just how thick it is – why would you want to eat it?

Broad Beans

Broad and Butter Bean Mash

I first made this in 1998. I said it was yummy then – I still think it is yummy now. The horseradish gives it a bit of a kick. You could use chilli instead. Also, I think that some tahini mixed in with this would go well, giving it a measure of creaminess.

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 cannelloni beans (butter beans) – a can of butter beans is Ok to use
100 g shelled broad beans (use 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

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.

Broad Beans Broad Beans

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

Enjoy. Eat. Yum.


From the Beans Series


About 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.
This entry was posted in 10 Mid Spring, aFruit and Veges, Beans, Broad Beans, Italian, Salsas - Purees - Pates - Dips, VEGETARIAN and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Broad and Butter Bean Mash

  1. amberjee says:

    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. VegeYum says:

    Aah, stirfying. I must try it. Peeling them is worth the effort – such a change in taste.


  3. Pingback: Skin Wrinkling: Can Food Make a Difference? | Authentic Threads

  4. idevour says:

    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.


  5. reita says:

    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


  6. Nigel Martin says:

    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.


  7. Akatsuki says:

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


  8. Back says:

    You are my breathing in. What a great blog.


    • teresa says:

      “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



  9. I really like your web site.


  10. just by looking at your dish it already made my mouth water. how much more if i make it? thanks!


  11. firsidh says:

    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


  12. Pingback: Ingredients: A Note on Broad Beans. | A Life (Time) of Cooking

  13. Pingback: Thai Style Green Bean Curry. Carousing in The Archives. June, 2002. | Heat in The Kitchen

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