Braised Broad Beans with Lemon and Mint

Posted By Kerri


This dish was recommended to me by a friend and comes from The Modern Vegetarian by Maria Ella.  The original version uses dill but since I’m not much of a dill fan, I opted for the alternative suggestion of mint.

I love broad beans but I don’t enjoy the podding, I know many people talk of it being therapeutic or go misty eyed recounting stories of sitting on their grandmother’s knee in the summer sunshine but I just find it makes my hands sore and turns my nails green.  A kilo of beans that need double podding made my hands very sore and green indeed and I began to worry about the effort versus fulfilment ratio.  I need not have worried though because the end result was quite simply brilliant.

The smaller beans had broken down and merged with the leeks and spring onions into a tasty (although not attractive looking) mush leaving the larger beans with a decent amount of bite and providing a great contrast.  I’m not sure if this was supposed to happen or not but I liked it anyway.  The lemon and mint added a light touch to the full, earthy flavour and created a cohesive and well rounded dish.

We served this with some griddled halloumi cheese and some toasted white bread that had been rubbed with garlic and drizzled with oil.  The combination worked very well but I think this is a dish that has many possibilities: blended slightly and served as a dip, blended completely and served as soup or as it is but with the addition of bacon.

As much as we both loved it, it’s going to be a while before I can face shelling another kilo of broad beans though so those options will have to wait for now.

Serves Four (I’m not sure about this, we ate the whole lot with cheese and bread as well, four as a starter maybe?)

1 kg fresh broad beans in their shells
Olive oil for frying
Four spring onions and four baby leeks, finely chopped (original recipe states 1 onion, chopped, or a bunch of spring onions)
1 garlic clove, crushed
Pinch of sugar
Pinch of sea salt
300ml vegetable stock
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Small bunch of mint, finely chopped (original recipe stated dill)

Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the beans and cook briefly (about two minutes for large beans).  Rinse under cold water and then remove outer skins.
Heat some oil in a large pan and gently fry the spring onion and leeks until softened – about three minutes.
Add the garlic, sugar and sea salt and cook for a further two minutes.
Add the beans and the stock and simmer over a low heat for about 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and mint and leave to stand for an hour before serving.  Don’t worry if there looks like too much liquid, the beans will continue to soak this up while they cool.

Aug 6th, 2009

8 Comments to 'Braised Broad Beans with Lemon and Mint'

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  1. Boo said,

    I agree. I always get really excited about the prospect of shelling broad beans but it’s never quite as good as I’ve anticipated! This looks worth it though, nice fresh flavours. Great idea for a veggie dinner, think I’ll give it try.
    .-= Boo´s last blog ..Texas Embassy Cantina =-.

  2. Lizzie said,

    I find shelling broad beans a total ball ache too. A kilo would bore me silly!
    .-= Lizzie´s last blog ..Gravetye Manor, Surrey =-.

  3. Kerri said,

    I’m glad I’m not the only one! This was definitely worth it though, I can’t wait to eat it again but I think I’ll get Stephen involved next time.

  4. Matt and Becky said,

    Tried this out last night and really enjoyed it – certainly will try it again. The podding wasn’t so bad, partly because there were two of us and partly because I mistakenly bought a half kilo of broad beans and and half kilo of peas! Despite this we still put the peas in the dish. A good dish for this time of year I thought.

  5. Kerri said,

    I’m glad you liked it, I’ve been craving it ever since and I can imagine it was lovely with peas. It is just right for this weather, I agree.

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