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properties, tips and recipes to cook it (and leave us with so much edamame)

22 mayo, 2021

Edamame continues to sport the nickname of a trendy snack and it is not uncommon for it to be sold out in supermarkets. But, as much as we like it, it doesn’t hurt to remember that in our country we also have excellent products that have nothing to envy, such as the tender beans, as exquisite as it is healthy.

The comparison with the Japanese aperitif is not accidental; both foods are the freshest and most tender version of a legume, they are presented in green pods and they can be eaten raw or cooked. They are low in calories but high in nutrients, and while fava beans take a little more work to enjoy, the end reward is well worth the effort.

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Legume or vegetable?

The broad bean is a herbaceous plant of the Fabaceae or legume family whose seeds grow inside a pod. Therefore it shares family with legumes, but, in its fresh or tender version, is considered more of a vegetable, for nutritional and also practical purposes. It is a case similar to the fresh pea.

Broad Beans Pods

Legumes, following the FAO definition, are legume crops with dry edible seeds, with a higher caloric intake and which usually require previous soaking or longer cooking; they also have a longer shelf life since they can be stored for months without spoiling.

This is not the case with broad beans when it is harvested green and consumed in its freshest version, so tender that it can be enjoyed raw without putting your teeth to the test. Out of season they can be purchased Dried beans, in which case they already become part of the group of legumes, more appropriate for stews and long cooking.

Characteristics and properties

Grown especially in Andalusia, Alicante, the Region of Murcia and also Navarra, the broad bean is a plant that grows during winter and offers its harvest at the end of the colder season. Resists frost well but likes mild temperatures, and that is why it is not uncommon to find the first pods in the markets since February.

Broad bean plant

It is a product that still today we identify with the imminent arrival of spring, as it happens with asparagus or fresh peas. Its season is very short, rarely reaching summer, but we can find it all year round. frozen and canned to the natural.

Broad beans they are marketed in their pods, much larger than edamame, long and with a thicker but soft skin. This pod is perfectly edible, although it is rarely used in cooking today. Inside it is what we consider the bean itself, with very variable sizes and a characteristic pale green color.

Broad beans

This legume-vegetable hardly brings about 55 kcal per 100 g fresh edible portion and has virtually no fat. It stands out for its content in vegetable proteins, fiber and vitamins A and C, it is also a good source of minerals such as potassium, with a low contribution of carbohydrates.

Thus, the tender beans are perfect for weight loss diets, satiating but light, very nutritious and also more digestive than dried legumes. And another of its advantages is the versatility they offer to consume or cook them, also suitable for taking them as a snack between hours directly raw.

How to prepare beans and cook with them

The pods protect the beans inside but it is not advisable to wait too long to consume them. Once at home you can keep some three or four days in the fridge, although it is necessary to avoid that brown or dark spots appear. A good pod should be bright green and firm to the touch, but it should give way under pressure.

Broad beans

Shelling them is very easy, although it may take some time. Just have to split one end and separate the sheath in two opening it along the longitudinal line. It is advisable to wash the pods well before opening them so as not to contaminate the interior.

The same specimen can contain very large beans and other smaller ones; the ideal is to separate them by size. They can be eaten raw but beans have a layer of skin that should be removed, especially if they are to be consumed raw or cooked very shortly. Although in the most traditional cuisine this step is not usually contemplated, it is highly recommended.

Blanched broad beans

The smallest beans can be peeled directly, with great care; the big ones will need a scalding. To do this, simply cook them in plenty of boiling salty water for less than a minute, then quickly cool them in ice water with ice.

The skin is opened without problems by pricking one end with the fingers, pressing gently from below to extract the bean. Deep green in color, the peeled tender beans are exquisite, buttery, fresh and very tasty. When cooked without peeling, they darken and wrinkle.

Peeled broad beans

We can take them as is, seasoned with spices or herbs, dressed with a vinaigrette or sautéed very briefly to give them some heat. With the peeled beans we can make spreads, hummus, or sauces, or crush them to turn them into creams and purees.

They combine very well with other late winter and spring vegetables, such as artichokes or peas, being delicious in garden rice or salads. Simply sauteed With garlic or ham they are a delight and we can top them with a poached egg with a semi-liquid yolk, or turn them into a delicious omelette.

Five recipes for cooking with fresh beans

Fresh broad beans with ham

Beans with ham

We shelled the beans. Heat a little oil in a saucepan and sauté the chives; when it is transparent add the garlic. Once the color is complete, add the diced ham and bacon and let them cook for a couple of minutes.

We pour in the white wine, turn up the heat, and let the alcohol evaporate. We add the beans and we cover with a little water If necessary. Let them cook over medium heat until they are tender, be careful with passing them since being fresh they are done immediately. Garnish with a fried slice of ham and egg (optional) and serve hot.

More details in the full recipe.

Young broad bean salad with radishes and belly

Broad beans with Ventresca
  • Ingredients for 1-2 people. 500 g of fresh beans, 5 radishes, 50 g of tuna belly in oil, chives, 1 lemon, ground black pepper, salt, extra virgin olive oil.
  • Elaboration. Unsheathe the beans. Put water to boil in a saucepan and blanch them for just 1 minute, a little less if they are very small. Drain quickly and cool with cold water. Wash the radishes well and cut the stem. Laminate into very fine pieces with the help of a good knife. Mix with the beans. Drain the oil from the tuna belly and arrange a portion topping the vegetables. Beat a tablespoon of olive oil with a splash of lemon juice, black pepper and salt, and season to taste. Season with a little chopped chives.

More details in the full recipe.

Pork tenderloin with broad beans

Beef Sirloin
  • Ingredients for 2 people. 1 medium pork tenderloin cut into medallions, 500 g of fresh beans, mixed lettuce, salt and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Elaboration. We unsheathe the beans, cook for 8 minutes in salted water and then repel them. Sauté them in a frying pan for a couple of minutes. We grill the sirloin medallions for a minute on each side with very high heat, adding a few crystals or salt flakes. We put the beans in the pan or griddle where the pork tenderloin has been cooked, we sauté the whole for a minute to integrate all the flavors and we prepare it to serve with a salad garnish.

More details in the full recipe.

Smoked salmon canape and broad bean pate

Canape beans
  • Ingredients. 100 g of fresh unsheathed beans, extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 lemon in juice, about 100 g of smoked salmon, 4 slices of sliced ​​bread, assorted salad and salt.
  • Elaboration. We make the bean cream by crushing them together with the lemon juice, a good splash of olive oil and a pinch of salt. We toast the bread and trim the edges. Each slice is cut into four. Spread the bean cream on each bread and on top we will put some salad leaves and the smoked salmon. We can decorate with fine lemon zest.

More details in the full recipe.

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Fresh broad beans sautéed with broccoli

Broad beans with Broccoli
  • Ingredients for 2 people. 1 kg of fresh beans, 1 small broccoli, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 lemon, 15 ml of white wine, almonds, thyme, black pepper, salt and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Elaboration. You shelled the beans. Bring salted water to a boil and a pinch of bicarbonate -optional- and blanch the large beans for 30 seconds. Drain quickly and cool with very cold water. Peel them gently and combine with the small ones. Cut the broccoli sprigs, wash and steam for 6-7 minutes, reserving the stem for other preparations. Toast the almonds in a frying pan without oil and set aside. Heat a little oil in a frying pan or griddle. Add the minced garlic and beans, over low heat. Drizzle with the wine, let it evaporate and add the broccoli. Add salt and pepper, add lemon zest and sauté for a few minutes. Serve with the almonds, a drizzle of good olive oil and some coarse salt flakes, if desired.

More details in the full recipe.

Photos | jules – 305 Seahill – Pixabay
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