Broad beans are a bright green vegetable that are wonderfully savoury yet slightly sweet in flavour. Fresh beans come in pods, which should be removed before cooking. The beans themselves are covered in a green-grey skin which can be eaten, but is more commonly removed before cooking. The beans are just as versatile as peas and can be cooked in a huge variety of ways - simmered, boiled, sautéed, or cooked in stews or hot pots. We have a number of broad bean recipes below, including broad bean falafel, broad bean, potato and bacon salad, beef and broad bean stew and much, much more.

Broad beans can be bought in pods or ready-podded. When a recipe calls for using beans that are podded, it means using beans that have been shelled but that are still in their skins. You can then either skin the beans by piercing them and squeezing them from their skin, or you can leave them as they are. Some people find preparing broad beans a fiddly task, while others prefer the flavour of the beans without the skin (as it can be a little chewy). Whether you skin your beans or not is totally up to you.

Broad beans are also widely available frozen and tinned. If using tinned beans, rinse really well under cold water before using - the brine can make them bitter. Tinned beans should also always be skinned, as otherwise they can be a little bit bitter. If you've made a broad bean dish and you find the flavour of the beans a little bitter, add some lemon juice and some freshly chopped herbs - and if needed, a tiny little bit of sugar.

Beans can also be mashed and served in place of regular mashed potato, or fried until crispy and served like crisps. They're super versatile, so get stuck into our recipes above to try them out!