a delicious broad bean dip

by Sam on November 14, 2012

broad bean or fava bean dip

This recipe is adapted from Mariana Esterhysen from Mariana’s in Stanford, one of my all time favourite country eateries. I ate her version of this dip as a starter when I went for lunch a few years back and she gladly passed the recipe on to me.

I’m quite besotted with broad beans actually, also known in some parts as fava beans. I love to eat them quite simply tossed through pasta with bacon and pesto, or sautéed in butter with salt and pepper. They are lovely in leafy salads and work nicely in a nicoise. They also make a fabulous vegetable when accompanying lamb on a dinner plate, or under a grilled piece of fish.

The texture of the broad beans change along their life cycle and as the season progresses  The younger ones are sweeter and can be eaten without being skinned. As they get a bit older it is necessary to take out the inner white casing to releases the beautiful emerald green gems.

I have adapted it slightly and gave it a spritz of lemon, and used my roasted garlic paste instead of fresh garlic. Mariana also included 1/2 t of chopped anchovy which I would have added if I hadn’t already snacked on the rest of my jar.

Recipe | serves 4 as a snack

  • 1 cup and a 1/4 (approximately) of shelled broad beans (1 kg of beans in the pod)
  • 3T olive oil
  • 3T grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 – 4 mint leaves
  • juice of 1/4 of a lemon (aprox)
  • 1 t roasted garlic / or 1/4 t fresh pressed garlic
  • salt and pepper to season

Cook the broad beans in a pot of salted boiling water for about 3 – 4 minutes and then drain and refresh under cold water. In a food processor, pulse the beans with all of the other ingredients except the olive oil. Add the olive oil slowly while the machine is on until you get the desired consistency. Make sure you taste as you go and adjust the salt, pepper and lemon juice to your liking.

I ate this with home-made melba toast which I prefer to crackers as they are fat-free. I simply thinly slice a stale loaf of bread with an electric carving knife, and place the bread on a rack on a baking tray in the middle of my oven. I turn it on to 150 C on convection (fan), and allow them to dry out and turn a very light brown colour. This take about 25 – 35 minutes. If you are using conventional heat, you may need to turn the slices around. Melba toast stores well in a sealed container  and is a great way to turn a stale loaf of bread into something worthwhile.

broad bean dip fava beans

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim Maxwell November 14, 2012 at 11:25 am

Love, love broad beans too. The dip looks yum but I’ve never thought of having them in your clever bacon, pesto and spaghetti combo. Such a good idea. Going to try it.

Stephen Perrigaux November 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm

This sounds and looks delish ! Broad beans are one of my faves, I never saw much of them in CT !? :)

usha singh November 15, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Sam this sounds wonderful and we vegetarians eat a lot of beans and lentils and make dip with just about anything.

Sam November 16, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Hi Stephen, yes they are very scarce sadly and their season is really short.

Jeanne @ CookSister! November 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Absolutely LOVE broad beans but only discovered them when I moved to London – can’t believe I missed out on 30 years of them :o) Love this dip – definitely bookmarked to try!

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