Our kitchen garden cook reveals her favourite recipes with broad beans.
Freshly picked broad beans are the perfecy complement to any summer dish, which is why so many of us grow them in their vegetable gardens. Younger beans are easier to work with because, once you’ve removed these bright-green jewels from the velvety soft pod, it’s not always necessary to slip the outer layer off. But, that said, a Sunday afternoon spent removing the outer skins of older beans can be rather therapeutic.
Mushy broad beans with spicy butterflied leg of lamb (serves 4)
4 cloves garlic
50ml olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
A handful each of fresh parsley and basil
1 boned and butterflied leg of lamb, about 2kg
500g broad beans
500ml chicken stock
2 spring onions
A handful of mint
A splash of olive oil
Add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, the herbs and the harissa to a food processor and pulse into a paste. Spread it all over the leg of lamb—really rubbing it into every nook and cranny—then sprinkle a little more seasoning over the joint and put it in the fridge for at least an hour, but preferably overnight, to allow the flavours to infuse.
Remove the joint from the fridge an hour before you need to put it in the oven, so that it’s reached room temperature. Preheat the oven to 200˚C/400˚F/gas mark 6 (or fire up the barbecue). Then, if using the oven, cook the lamb for about 15 minutes before reducing the temperature slightly and leaving the joint in the oven for a further 15 minutes. If you’ve opted for the barbeque, grill the joint for 15 minutes on each side, so that it’s well cooked on the outside, but is still pink in the centre — cook it for a few minutes more or a few less, depending on your preference. When the lamb is ready, cover with foil and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Simmer the broad beans in chicken stock for five minutes before tipping in the peas and continuing to cook until tender. Slice the spring onions into rounds and add to the broad beans and peas, along with the mint, olive oil and seasoning. Slice the lamb and serve with the broad beans and extra harissa on the side—harissa also makes an excellent sauce when stirred through Greek yoghurt.
More ways with broad beans
Broad bean hummus with sourdough (left)
Put three cups of cooked broad beans in a food processor with the juice from one lemon, three cloves of garlic, 3tbspn tahini, a splash of olive oil and seasoning, then process into a paste and serve with sourdough bread.
Broad-bean, pea and barley zesty salad
Take a cup of pearl barley and simmer it in chicken stock until tender. Allow to cool completely before adding a cup of cooked broad beans and a cup of cooked peas. Mix them all together and add two sliced spring onions, a handful of fresh rocket and the zest from one lemon. Shake together the juice from the lemon, 2tbspn olive oil, seasoning, a finely chopped chilli (if you like a little heat) and 1tspn sumac in a jam jar, then pour it over the barley, scatter with fresh basil and serve.
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