I noticed the first flowers on my broad beans over the past few days. Which means it’s time to get ready for the harvest.
I can’t remember how long it was last year between first flowering and the first beans, but I say get ready for two reasons:
1. Cooking Preparation
Broad beans require a bit of preparation that can be off-putting if you’re busy, working a lot, or cooking at the last minute. My preference after last year’s harvest is to pod them as soon as I pick them, then leave those in the fridge until I’m ready to cook. And because I find the skins on the podded beans are usually always bitter, even when small, I always blanch then skin the beans before cooking.
2. Beware Glut Crops
Broad beans come on fast and furious. Last year we didn’t have the best crop and I still had to be pretty organised to avoid wasting them. One moment you’re picking your first bowl-full thinking how charming and posting bucolic pics on your blog. Next moment you’re pulling out 18 baskets a day of bean pods the length of your forearm.
They can be a little like zucchinis. So it’s good to be a bit organised and know which days you can pick the so they don’t all end up enormous. I’ve also read that like other beans, frequent harvesting encourages a bigger crop. Use that information how you will.
Here are the recipes I tried out last year and loved.
I’ve been researching in preparation for this year and plan on trying at least some of the following:
- Broad bean kukku (Iranian omelette)
- Broad bean pilaf
- Broad bean fritters (like falafel)
- Broad bean and beetroot salad
- Spring Paella with broad beans
- Broad bean frittata
- Minestrone with broad beans
I’ll post the recipes if they are delicious. What are your favourite things to do with broad beans?