A summery spread: Broad Bean, Mint and Lemon Peasto


Before I dash out to the farmer’s market this morning, I wanted to share one last recipe that I made this week. Remember those broad beans from last Sunday? I was going to make a Jamie Oliver recipe with them, one that I’ve been eyeing for a while. In the end, of course, I couldn’t help but alter the proportions of the recipe a touch, both because of a lack of the right ingredients on hand, and my own insolence.

I did remain true to the ingredients called for, though, and the result was really nice. Part spread and part pesto, this infinitely versatile condiment have a sweet and fresh taste. The mint and lemon keep the flavours bright while the garlic gave it a nice kick. We first had this over pasta, which was very tasty, not to mention the most gorgeous colour. A few days later, I roughly forked the leftovers through some steamed new potatoes for a bright and summery mash. It would probably also be great over fish or with grilled bread, as Jamie shows it.

This spread is probably best made early in the summer, when both peas and broad beans are at their best. The lack of any cooking involved means that the flavours come shining through, and any bitterness from more mature broad beans will be obvious immediately. If you’re making it later in the season, I think a teaspoon of honey would sweeten it nicely.

Broad Bean, Mint and Lemon Pesto

adapted from this recipe by Jamie Oliver

makes about 3/4 cup

  • 1/2 cup fresh, small broad beans, shelled
  • 1/2 cup fresh garden peas, shelled
  • 1/2 clove minced garlic (optional)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped mint
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbs. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. runny honey (optional, to sweeten)
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and whiz until chopped but not smooth- you want some whole beans and peas to remain. Alternatively, you could (as I do) put the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and use an immersion blender.

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