Broad beans are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables known to man. They have been eaten as a staple food since medieval times. Broad beans are a member of the Legume family. Thick fleshy pods protect the edible seeds. Broad beans are a good source of protein and carbohydrate whilst low in fat, which makes them an ideal choice for vegetarian and low fat recipes. They are an excellent source of fibre, Vitamin C, folic acid, pantothenic acid and a good source of Vitamin A and niacin.
Preparing and Using
Borad beans should be cooked in boiling water until tender. They can also be par-boiled and finished off braised in butter. Broad beans can be used in soups, stews, casseroles, cassoulets and salads, and served with couscous, vinaigrette or turned into falafel.
For a simple broad bean purée, blend the cooked beans with garlic cooked in butter, cream and a small amount of fresh herbs such as thyme.
Good flavour combinations include soured cream, yoghurt, crème fraiche, blue cheese dressing, nuts, ham, bacon, couscous, tomato, lemon, rosemary, and chilli.