On Notice: Preparing for Broad Beans

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.

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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.

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Podded but not skinned.

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.

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Perfect sized pods.

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.

Recipes

Here are the recipes I tried out last year and loved.

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No recipe, just asparagus my fave way – fried in the pan, with BBs and lemon zest. Yum.

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?

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3 thoughts on “On Notice: Preparing for Broad Beans

  1. I have been enjoying your garden as it progresses from season to season. I too live in Victoria and I thought in a warm temperate zone, but I am not sure, in winter it’s cold and often frosty but no snow, and last year we had frost in the first week of December. In summer it’s hot and dry. However my broad beans are just knee high and have a couple of flower buds so maybe I’ve got it wrong. I plant my broad beans close together so they support each other, but I also crisscross the bed with bailing twine of which I have plenty. This also stops the cockies nipping off the seedlings. If they do fall over they branch so more beans. I also dust the bed well with wood ash a couple of weeks before sowing the seed.

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  2. Hi Jane,
    Well Im quite exited someone has been following! Sorry it has taken me so long to reply. That’s interesting what you say about the climate… I’ve always my area to be cool temperate because I think that’s what several gardening resources have referred to it as. But you’ve got me wondering I must say! My quick google reveals the internet defines warm temperate as having four distinct seasons, with a mild winter and a hot or cool summer. Cool temperate is defined as having a lot of rain throughout the year with a mild summer and a fairly cold winter. If they are reliable descriptions (the first sites I clicked on so perhaps not) my area would fall somewhere in between the two. I may have to do some more research on what a mild winter and hot summer are defined as. Are you inland also or elevated? We get a lot of frost here. Last winter is was most weeks, and this winter it seemed confined to mid-late winter. And can I ask, what does the wood ash do for your BBs? Does it assist flowering? Thanks for following. Emily

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  3. Pingback: Early Spring in the Garden: September | bluetongue greenthumb

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