Seasonal Ingredient of the Week: Broad Beans

Coming into season from June through to August, broad beans are a British summer staple due to their hardy, adaptable nature  (anyone else remember having broad beans growing up poles or fences in the back garden?). Known also as fava beans, they're just as at home in a seasonal salad as they are on a Sunday roast, and add a pop of colour to and dish. Part of the legume family (so technically not a vegetable) and can easily be found locally, and are a great source of protein and carbohydrates. 

Unlike petits pois however, they're not too enjoyable raw, so should be podded and boiled before using - the beans will puff up and be fatter once cooked too.


RECIPE IDEAS 

- Broad beans have a creamy texture, perfectly complementing naturally salty food such as bacon or ham - try pan frying them with garlic, ginger and bacon for a side dish or to add to a salad. 

- They also make a great dip - use broad beans in place of chickpeas for a creamy,hummus style dip or smash with peas and mint for a summery pea and broad bean mash. Serve with crudités, or try served on your go-to toast, then top with a poached egg for weekend brunch. 

- They also work well with avocado in guacamole - mix with avocado, tahini, coconut milk, garlic and lime then blitz until almost-smooth. 

- For mains, try a summer broad bean risotto. Add broad beans, peas and mint to a creamy coconut and brown rice base for an easy, summer dish. 

- For meat, they work particularly well with lamb. Serve grilled lamb cutlets with a side of mint and broad ban mash, or slow cooked with a side of parboiled broad beans sautéed with garlic and ginger. 

- Broad beans make for the perfect summer salad addition. Try with a mix of white quinoa, radish, mange tout, rocket and pumpkin seeds with a lemon dressing - serve with salmon as a main.