Spring and Broad Beans go together like birds of a feather. But when the fresh green pods of these green-flavoured beans are no longer available, we are fortunate to have dried broad beans. These come in several sizes and colours – the main ones are large, unpeeled beans, and smaller, yellow, peeled beans. Both are great, slightly differently flavoured, and the yellow ones come with the advantage of not having to peel them before cooking.
This is another great puree made from the dried broad beans (fava beans) – use either type. Today, the puree is used as a dip and spread alongside roasted onions, wilted greens, roasted capsicums, and olives, with toasted ciabatta for spreading and piling on the accompaniments.
Are you looking for similar recipes? Try Broad Bean Spread with Roasted Garlic Ricotta, Avocado and Bread Bean Mash, Dried Fava Bean Puree with Fresh Herbs, Fava Bean Puree with Dill and Olive Oil, and Broad Bean and Butter Bean Spread.
Broad Bean Dip with Wilted Greens and Roasted Onions
1.5 cups dried, skinned broad beans, soaked in water overnight and drained (see note below)
1 small potato, peeled and chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 stalk celery, cut into 2 or 3 pieces
1 bay laurel leaf
0.25 cups extra virgin olive oil
2 Tblspn lemon juice
sea salt and black pepper
2 large red capsicum
1 cup small black olives
1 large ciabatta loaf, sliced and toasted
wilted greens and roasted onions
2 red or Spanish onions, unpeeled
0.5 cups olive oil
3 bunches of greens (or equivalent) – chickory, witlof, raddichio, spinach, etc
lemon wedges for serving
Grill the capsicum until blackened, then peel, seed and cut into 2cm strips. Grill the capsicums using a gas flame, oven, grill or gas or charcoal BBQ. Put the strips aside.
Place the drained, rinsed beans in a heavy saucepan with potato, onion, celery and bay leaf. Add 2 litres of water and bring to the boil.
Simmer until the beans are tender.
Discard the celery and bay leaf. Strain the beans, onions and potato over a bowl, reserving the liquid. Note that when I cook the beans they disintegrate, so I don’t drain, but cook off the liquid until only a small amount is left- enough to produce a lovely smooth puree.
Blend the beans, onions and potato until smooth. While it is processing, drizzle the olive oil into the mixture and process until combined, then add the lemon juice, salt and pepper and process till combined.
Transfer to a bowl, taste and adjust seasoning as required. Cover and place in the fridge for at least one hour and up to 4 days.
To roast the onions, heat the oven to 200C, and place the onions on a sheet of foil. Drizzle them with 0.25 cups olive oil. Seal the edges of the foil to form an airtight package and place on an oven tray and roast for 1 hour until onions are tender.
To prepare the greens, remove the stalks and wash the greens well. Drain well. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the greens, tossing until wilted. Season to taste.
Transfer the greens to a bowl. Slice the cooled onions into 6 wedges and scatter them over the greens. Place a lemon wedge on the side.
Bring the broad bean puree to room temperature and thin with a little cooking liquid if necessary. Serve along with the red capsicum, the wilted greens and onions, olives and slices of toasted ciabatta on the side.
recipe notes and alternatives
If you can’t find peeled, dried broad beans, use the unpeeled ones. Soak overnight, then pop them out of their peels before cooking. If they don’t come out of the skins easily, try soaking them in boiling water for 20 – 30 mins. They should come off easily then.
The peeled dried broad beans are quite small, whereas the unpeeled ones are large beans.