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Pick your own Broad Beans

Broad Beans (vicia faba)

When available: June to July.

Also known as fava beans, Broad beans are part of the legume family and are the first of the beans ready for picking on the farm each year.

AVAILABILITY

Picking now!

Varieties grown


Growing method

Unlike french beans and runner beans, broad beans do not require an infrastructure of cane and support to grow up. The thick plant stems are self supporting and grow well outdoors.

How to pick

Choose beans that are at least 15cm or 6 inches in length that feel firm and crisp to the touch. To harvest, simply twist the bean gently away from the plant stem taking care not to damage it.

It is best to start harvesting from the bottom of the plant where you are likely to find the largest beans.

Once picked, beans should be eaten or frozen within a few days for maximum flavour.

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Broad bean facts

Broad beans originated in the Mediterranean regions around north Africa and western Asia and were an important food staple for many ancient civilisations including the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Cooking with broad beans

Broad beans are exceptionally well matched with salty foods such as Parmesan, bacon, anchovies and shellfish.

Lamb is a classic summertime pairing. When the weather is hot and broad beans also work well with lemon, mint, buffalo mozarella and a good quality olive oil.

Preparing the beans

Young soft beans can be simply removed from the outer shell and eaten whole. Larger, tougher beans will require double podding. It is easiest to remove the beans from the outer shell and blanch them for a minute or two in boiling water. Quickly place the beans into a bowl of iced water (you don't want them to overcook) then using a knife, nick and remove the outer shell.

Quick and easy broad bean dip

We love this totally easy to make broad bean dip recipe. It showcases the versatility of broad beans and is sure to impress your summer party guests.

  • 200g double podded fresh broad beans
  • 200g cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp mascarpone
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • Parmesan shavings, or substitute for another strongly flavoured hard cheese such as Berkswell or manchego
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
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Method

  1. Lightly crush half of the broad beans, reserving the rest to use as a garnish.
  2. Combine the cream cheese and mascapone in a bowl and stir till creamy. Add in the crushed broad beans and chives, then mix well seasoning with pepper.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and grnish with the remaining beans, a drizzle of olive oil and the cheese shavings.

Best served with crispbreads or toasted focaccia.