Broad beans

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Broad Beans, Fava Beans or Horse Beans generally relate to the European broad bean which is cooked as a vegetable. Fresh broad beans are more popular than the dried ones in Europe. When dried, they are used per Broad beans or Fava beans.

Broad beans are sweet and creamy texture, with a hint of bitterness. They have a short season, so are often found dried, canned or frozen to preserve them. Older broad beans tend to have a tough skin, so they should be peeled and the pod then cooked. For younger ones, you can cook them without peeling but are better peeled. Broad beans can be creamed, served in a sauce, puréed. In Egypt, a brown variety is the staple, ful, as in ful medames.

To cook:

  • A short steaming or boiling with water is all that is needed. Add a little butter and salt after cooking and sprinkle over with chopped fresh tarragon. Or serve in a white sauce.

Other Languages

Language Broad bean
French Haricot large
German Grosse Bohne
Italian Fava
Spanish Haba

Further Reading

Dowell, P., Bailey, A. (1980) The Book of Ingredients, Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 0718119150.