As broad beans get older, they suit purees and spreads really well. It is very simple – simmer them for some time, peel each bean, and then puree them with herbs. It makes a delicious snack on toast – I love it at morning tea time with a good cuppa. Or use the puree to make a fresh, spring soup by adding some stock or water and thinly sliced spring vegetables.
Traditionally an Easter dish, this Umbrian Broad Bean Puree is eaten on toasted crusty bread that has been drizzled with olive oil. But it is equally as good with vegetables, pasta and as a dressing in salads.
It is a simple but gorgeous, flavoursome dish.
A salad dressing in a whizz – and much more…
So simple, how have I never thought of this before? With a surfeit of roasted peppers, due to roasting them on the BBQ after a Sunday lunch, I whizzed them into a perfect salad dressing.
The puree can also be used as a sauce – use with halloumi, for example, or some lentil balls. Drizzle over steamed or roasted vegetables. Mix with stir fried greens. Drizzle a little in wraps and sandwiches, or use it thick as a spread. It could be a dip. Mix with yoghurt for a wonderful sauce, dip or dressing. Use as a pasta sauce. Use as a base for a cold soup. Use for a dressing on a cold pasta salad. It is a pure delight!
Did you know that you can make a puree of young, vibrant green Broad Bean pods? They must be young, and the simple puree then can be used as a dip, with grilled vegetables and salads, or as a base for a wonderful soup. It does oxidise very very quickly (to an interesting shade of black), so needs to be covered well or made immediately before use.
The taste is green and fresh. I made this with broad bean pods straight from the garden, from about 6 cm long to 12 cm long. I left the beans in the pods, although you can remove them if you want to use them for a different dish.
Difficult to stop eating this delightful dip
Our love affair with Broad Beans continues with some mashes. Broad beans mash very well – especially later in the season when the beans are not as young and tender as they were earlier in the season.
This is easy to make, but it is necessary to double peel the beans – first remove them from the pod and then peel each bean. For this recipe it is Ok to cook the beans for a few minutes before peeling – they are also easier to peel once cooked.
Similar recipes include Saffron Mograbieh Pilaf with Broad Beans, Umbrian Broad Bean Puree, Young Broad Bean Pod Puree, Spring Pasta with Broad Beans and Mint, Broad Bean and Butter Bean Spread, and Avocado Smash.
Snacks in this house often include a spread or dip that can be lathered onto crusty bread with some salad greens and tomato slices, or just on its own. Most spreads can be thinned a little and used as a dip with crackers or vegetable sticks. They can even be served as a sauce to accompany falafel, lentil balls or other vegetarian fritters or patties. Try adding them to salad dressing too, for creaminess and flavour. They can even be thinned out to form a great basis for soup!
This recipe is a classic White Bean puree with sage and garlic – some garlic is roasted, and some cooked with the beans for layered garlic flavours. Deborah Madison includes a recipe in her book, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.
Similar recipes include Broad Bean Puree with Chilli Oil, White Bean Puree with Harissa, Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree, Broad Bean and Mint Puree, Chickpea, Almond and Sesame Spread, and Fava Bean Puree with Fresh Herbs.
Or browse all of our Spreads, our Dips, and all of our White Bean recipes. And explore our Late Winter dishes. Continue reading “White Bean, Sage and Roasted Garlic Spread”
Cauliflowers were so cheap and I bought a huge one, three times bigger than others. After making the Green Pea Soup (which has cauliflower in it), I estimated there were still 6 more dishes possible from this one cauliflower!
Today’s cauli dish is a beautiful puree of roasted cauliflower with cannellini beans. You can also use chickpeas.
Dried Broad Beans are a great substitute for fresh broad beans once their season has finished. They don’t exactly taste like the fresh version, but are pretty good in their own right and make the smoooooothest divine puree.
The downside is that they need to be peeled before cooking. They say that dried, peeled Broad Beans (or Fava Beans) are available, even split ones, but I have been unsuccessful in my search for them. Thus it is necessary to soak the dried beans for 12 hours, then slip the peels from them, and only then put them on to cook. Not every recipe you see will tell you this trick – it seems to be rather a secret.
This recipe can be used for older fresh broad beans – the ones that have lost their green freshness and are now rather white, and for the dried variety. Either way, the individual beans will have to be peeled.
Sometimes you don’t quite want a guacamole, you want a bit more than smashed avo, and you want to use that ripe avocado, mashed and tasty, to pile onto sourdough toast. Or to use as a salad. Well, here we have that recipe for you.
Or perhaps you are looking for other Dips and Spreads? Try Fava Bean Spread with Dill, Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree, White Bean, Sage and Roasted Garlic Spread, Zhug – Coriander Chilli Spread, and Babaganoush.
Browse all of our Avocado dishes and all of our Dips. Or explore all of our Late Autumn collection of recipes. Continue reading “Avocado Smash with Radishes | Spread, Dip or Salad”
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.
A very versatile Italian Sauce
This is a gorgeously herby tomato sauce with an Italian swagger. It cooks slowly down then is blended well (using a blender) or coarsely (with an immersion blender), and the sauce can be frozen. It pairs delightfully with cheeses like fontina, can serve as a fresh chutney, used as a spread in layered sandwiches and toasties, and of course serves as a sauce as well.
It was my daughter who first pointed out how good this recipe is. It has been in use in our household since 1998. That is how good it is!
Feel free to browse recipes from our Retro Recipes series. You might also like our Tomato recipes here and here. Or you might like to browse Sauce recipes here and here. Check out our easy Autumn recipes here and here.
This sustaining meal-on-a-plate is a little bit like hummus, though much easier and quicker to prepare. Eat with warm flatbread and a salad.
It is a very very cool summer’s day, full of storms and we are all reaching for our unused jackets to keep warm. We look for something more substantial and comforting today from the kitchen.
I love the lentils of India and the Middle East, and I love the lentils of the West (although a much more limited range). Commonly, lentils soften much more quickly than most dried beans and peas, and take only 20 – 40 minutes to cook. While red lentils (masoor dal), fall apart in the cooking (so making them perfect for soups), brown and green varieties hold their shape, making them a very good base on which to layer other foods. A pan of cooked lentils – braised with carrots, onions, celery, hard herbs and vegetable stock – is a useful thing to have in the fridge, ready to for the basis for turning yesterday’s leftover dishes into a whole new meal.
Keep this in the freezer for the times you need tomato puree.
A gift of home grown organic tomatoes, a surfeit in fact, had me reaching for my heavy Italian style pans to make some spiced tomato puree.
The beauty of this dish is that it can be sealed into jars and kept in the fridge for a week or two, or frozen in containers or ziplock bags for later use. It is great with pasta or stirred into dishes – curries, vegetable stews, sauces, dressings, dips, soups etc.
It takes about 30 mins to prep and cook – it is great to make on a Sunday morning in that lazy atmosphere that envelops the house on this day. Read with a cuppa coffee while the sauce bubbles away on the stove.
This is a beautifully simply recipe. You might also like to try this one. It is one that I make and freeze in Autumn. See how to preserve tomatoes for Winter. Or explore all of our Tomato recipes. For similar purees, also try Broad Bean Puree with Chilli Oil.
A beautiful pesto from a gentle ingredient.
Isn’t it great that there are lots of ways to mush things together and the results taste spectacular? Soups, for example, smoothies, combination juices. The wonderful pesto and hummus. The wonderful mushing together of pastes, oils, nuts, seeds, cheeses, yoghurts, creams, fruits, herbs, spices and vegetables make for an endless variety of goodies. Even lentils and rice, ground together, make amazing fritters and even better fermented or unfermented flatbreads.
Especially great in all things mushed together is that the variety is endless. For example, in the warmer months, I am likely to be seen picking green things from my small pot-garden. Nasturtium leaves, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, cardamom leaf, parsley, curry leaves, basil, lemon verbena, rosemary, thyme – whatever looks good on that day. My handful of herbs gets chopped finely with some nuts or seeds, maybe some cheese or maybe not, garlic, maybe chilli, sometimes some rocket or spinach, lemon zest and whatever else is fresh and on my kitchen bench at the time.
Asparagus can also be used. Steamed and chopped, it makes a very rustic Asparagus Pesto. Glorious. Gentle.
You might also like to read The Joy of Asparagus, Spring Salads, and Cream of Asparagus Soup. All Asparagus recipes are here and here, and our Dips are here and here. Be inspired by our Spring recipes here and here.
A not-so-beautiful but oh so wonderful dish – Parsley cooked a la Grecque.
We are obsessed these days with beautiful food. It’s a fashion. It will pass one day. We eat with our eyes before we eat with our tastebuds, because we no longer suffer from hunger or know what it is like to go without food.
This recipe isn’t beautiful, but it IS delicious. And it is a very versatile dish. Just right for those times when your parsley is overgrowing your back yard.
Yiahni means to cook in a base of good olive oil and tomatoes, an a la Grecque approach to slowly cooking the vegetable or bean in a flavoursome base and oil to produce an outstanding dish.