Broad beans tend to be regarded as somehow not quite as good as the borlotti and french beans of high Summer perhaps its because they are easy to grow but for me this simple dip transforms them into a great quick hummus in under 10 Minutes
160g broad beans podded
juice 1/2 small lemon
15 mint leaves
4 tb extra virgin olive oil, plus extra
zest of small lemon
sea salt, to taste
Boil or steam the beans for 3-5 minutes, until tender. Older beans may need longer cooking.
Rinse under cold water with ice cubes, drain in a colander.
Remove outer skins especially with older beans, best way slice one end and gently squeeze bean out
Blitz beans, salt, lemon juice and mint until smooth in a processor or with a hand held stick blender, adding olive oil in a stream until you achieve the consistency you desire.
If you like a coarse texture you can break up the beans with a fork
chop Lemon zest into fine pieces
A good quality, mild tasting oil makes all the difference to the taste
Once smooth, add zest and taste seasoning.cover with little more oil to keep in fridge for a couple of days if you can resist it
It might seen an odd thing to film but there are reasons for clearing your Beans and Peas in a particular way as they can still help your garden to be productive after they have finished producing there own crop
Broad Beans are one of the most useful crops we can grow, they fill a gap in the garden over winter when little else is growing and the beans germinate at lower temperatures than even grass starts to grow at in spring. This means that we can plant them as early as February and continue to start them off and plant them right up until May, this method gives us a continuance of cropping.
One of the other great things about growing broad beans is like all legumes they fix nitrogen into the soil and this allows us to increase the soil fertility for a follow-on crop which makes them perfect to sow in a bed before nitrogen hungry summer crops.
Without doubt the highest yielding vegetables you can grow in the garden and really invaluable for Winter use dried these Butter beans and Borlotti beans are growing in a tiny No-Dig bed in my mums small urban back garden and the soil preparation is now really paying dividends
The Butterbeans I am growing are FAGIOLO DI SPAGNA which are the only ones I have ever had much success with and the Borlotti are LAMON both from seeds of Italy