It seems that no matter how you cook broad beans, they need peeling. Except perhaps for the extremely young fresh beans, you need to get your long thumb nail working and peel that outer skin off of the individual beans.
This applies also to the dried beans. I have heard that you can buy pre-peeled, dried broad beans, but I have not been able to find them. So trust me, it is not worth cooking the dried beans without peeling first. The dried skin is like a suit of armour, hard and tough even when the inner flesh has boiled away to nothing.
To peel these little battle beans, cover with boiling water, and leave to soak for 12 hours, no less, and up to 24 hours. The peels may have split a little, allowing you to peel the skin off. Once peeled, you can cook them as desired.
This recipe is a Broad Bean Purée with Dill, a Turkish dish. Turkish Fava is made with Fava beans (broad beans), unlike the Greek Fava which is made with yellow split lentils. Confusing, I know, but how great diversity is! The purée is left to set, then unmoulded or cut into cubes. It is then drizzled with olive oil, lemon, and some fresh dill.
Or perhaps you are looking for dips for your Mezza table? Try Broad Bean and Mint Puree, Green Tomato Salsa with Coriander, Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree, Hummus, and Tomato and Chilli Jam.
Fava Bean Purée With Dill and Olive Oil | Turkish Fava | Dried Broad Bean Purée
300g dried broad beans (fava beans)
2 large onions, peeled and cut into quarters
8 Tblspn olive oil
1 Tblpn sugar
salt to taste
1 bunch dill, chopped, or 0.75 Tblspn dried dill
juice 1 lemon
2 Tblspn olive oil
dill sprigs, if available
red onion, peeled and sliced finely
The day before, soak the beans in hot water for 12 hours (best overnight), then drain the beans and peel them.
Place the onions in a saucepan with the peeled, soaked broad beans and the water. Cover and cook over medium heat until the beans have reduced to almost a purée. Purée the beans and onions in a blender or food processor, or with an immersion blender. It will be quite liquid.
Put the olive oil, sugar, salt, bean purée in a saucepan and cook for 5 minutes over hight heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat. Add the chopped or dried dill and pour the purée into a mould.
Cover and store in the fridge for about 8 hours. It firms up and contracts considerably while cooling.
Unmould the purée onto a platter. Mix the lemon juice and olive oil together and pour over the broad bean mould. Decorate with some dill sprigs and red onion slices.
(Alternatively you can leave in the dish, pour over the juice and olive oil, and garnish as desired. Red onion slices can be served on a separate plate if desired.)
Serve as part of a mezza/tapas spread with beautiful flatbread or other breads.
recipe notes and alternatives
Add the tiniest amount of minced garlic to the puree.