Part of the legume family, they're hardy and can grow in almost any climate, and are at their peak from June to September. So make sure they’re crisp and fresh to make the best of their flavour

Broad bean guacamole by Monica Shaw

If you’re looking for a simple way to use broad beans this summer, follow Monica's lead and include them in a delicious guacamole – ideal for barbecues and get-togethers.

100g broad beans, shelled and double-podded weight
1 avocado
½ lemon, juiced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Coarsely mash the broad beans with a mortar and pestle. Add the avocado and continue mashing until smooth, but still with some texture.

Mix in the lemon juice and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, taste, adding more salt or lemon juice as needed.


New potatoes with bacon, samphire and broad beans by Galton Blackiston

Galton Blackiston offers a twist on potato salad, adding a range of ingredients including an oozing poached egg. Most good fishmongers stock samphire and it makes for an unexpected, crunchy addition. 

500g new potatoes
​225g samphire
1 sprig fresh mint
½ lemon
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 shallots, finely chopped
​175g smoked bacon
​125g broad beans, blanched and peeled
6 knobs unsalted butter
​rapeseed oil, for frying

6 eggs
1 tbsp of white wine vinegar

Bring a pot of water to the boil. Wash the samphire and then blanch in the water for 30 seconds, refresh in ice water and drain​. Place the new potatoes in a large pan and cover with cold water. Add the lemon and a sprig of mint and place over a high heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are slightly tender. Drain and set aside to cool​.

Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat. Once the pan is scorching hot, add a little rapeseed oil and then the shallots and garlic. Turn the heat down and fry gently until the shallots and garlic colour. Add the bacon and fry until it starts to caramelise. Add the potatoes into the pan and fry until lightly coloured. Finally, add the samphire and broad beans and fry for a further two minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste and keep warm.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add a tbsp of vinegar to the boiling water. Crack the six eggs into six small cups. One by one, drop the eggs into the water – to poach will take around three minutes per egg – swirling the water to create a whirlpool effect. Remove the eggs from the pan using a slotted spoon. To serve, divide the new potatoes, bacon, broad beans and samphire into six bowls and place a knob of butter on the potatoes in each bowl. Finish with a poached egg served on top.


Pappardelle with shaved asparagus, broad beans, marjoram and pea purée by Geoffrey Smeddle

Asparagus and pappardelle are a winning combination, married perfectly together in this simple recipe from Geoffrey Smeddle, developed originally for the Sunday Herald. Together with earthy broad beans and fresh marjoram, this pasta dish is a perfect way to celebrate the days of spring and early summer. To serve, add some shaved cheese on top; Parmesan and Pecorino Romano make lovely options, as does British Old Winchester if you’d like to keep this recipe vegetarian.

500g fresh peas in the pod
1 pinch sugar
​150ml double cream
​500g fresh broad beans, still in the large outer pod
2 bunches asparagus
​320g pappardelle
10g fresh marjoram
black pepper, freshly ground
olive oil

Make the pea purée in advance. Shell the peas and discard the pod. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the peas for three minutes​. Drain, reserving one cup of the cooking water, and place into ice water.

Place the peas in a blender with some of the cooking water, add a pinch of salt and sugar then process to a purée. Add just enough double cream to help it process, then set aside​. Shell the broad beans from the outer pod then cook in boiling salted water for one minute before draining and refreshing in ice-cold water. Once cold, drain and pop off the outer pod from each bean then set aside.

Set aside six spears of asparagus per person. Cut off the tips and keep them to use as a garnish. Add the remainder of those spears to the others, which will be used to make ribbons. Trim the woody base from the asparagus – this will be about an inch or so at the base of each spear, which can be reserved for soup.

Using a swivel-head peeler and working from the head of the spear to the base, shave ribbons of asparagus and place them in a bowl. Bring a large pan of water and a second smaller one to the boil and salt both well. Gently reheat the pea purée in a small pan, taste for seasoning and set aside in a warm place. Place the pasta in the large pan of boiling water and cook until al dente. Boil the reserved asparagus tips in the smaller pan for four minutes​.

Drain the pasta when done, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pan, along with the cooking liquid, broad beans, a dash of olive oil, half the asparagus ribbons and half the fresh marjoram. Season with salt and add half the asparagus spear tips. Divide the pea purée between four plates, making a round bed in the centre of each.

Pile the pasta in the centre of each then finish with the rest of the shaved asparagus and the asparagus tips. Add one last dash of salt and pepper and then scatter the rest of the marjoram over the top.

Feeling inspired? Visit Great British Chefs for even more delicious broad bean recipes