Broad Bean and Pancetta Risotto

Serves 2

140g Pancetta, cubed (optional)
1 small onion, finely chopped
550-600ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
115g shelled broad beans
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
185g risotto rice
3 tbsp dry white wine
Freshly ground salt and black pepper

Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the pancetta, when the fat starts to melt, increase the heat slightly and fry until it begins to crisp. Strain off the fat and add the olive oil, reduce the heat and add the onion and garlic. Fry gently for about 5 minutes until soft and golden. Stir in the rice and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Mix in the wine and simmer until it has evaporated. Add the bay leaf and a ladleful of hot stock, return to a simmer and stir regularly as the liquid is absorbed.
Continue the process, adding a ladleful at a time until all the stock is absorbed. After 10 minutes, stir in the beans, cook for 8-10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper and serve with lots of parmesan.

Broad Bean and Thyme Risotto

Serves 4

350g Broad Beans
1 litre vegetable stock
85g Butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
3tbsp Olive Oil
285g Arborio or risotto rice
150ml white wine
6 sprigs fresh thyme
60g parmesan, grated

For the thyme Cream:
2 heaped teaspoons of chopped mixed with 3 heaped dessertspoons of crème fraiche

Boil or steam the broad beans until tender. Heat the stock to simmering point and keep it simmering. Heat 50g of the butter and in a heavy bottomed pan and sweat the onion until soft and translucent, add the rice and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the wine, turn up the heat and stir until absorbed. Add the thyme sprigs. Reduce the heat and add the stock a ladle at a time until it is absorbed, constantly stirring, it should take about 20 minutes for all the stock to be absorbed and the rice to be tender but not mushy, then stir in the parmesan, remaining butter, remove the thyme sprigs and add the broad beans and heat through. Season and serve with a spoon of the thyme cream in the centre.

Broad Bean Risotto

Serves 2-4

1 Medium onion, peeled and chopped
200g Arborio rice
1 litre of vegetable stock
75g grated parmesan
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
Drizzle of olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
500g broad beans, podded
150ml white wine
1 lemon (juice + grated zest)
1 knob of butter

Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onions and garlic and stir. Cover and cook over a low heat until the onions start to turn translucent. Meanwhile steam the podded beans for 3-5 minutes until tender. Add the risotto rice to the onions and stir it well and gently coat with the oil. Cover and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes. Add the white wine and thyme to the rice mixture, turn up the heat and simmer until the wine is absorbed. Add the stock a quarter at a time, stirring until absorbed before adding the next 1⁄4 of stock.

Continue until the rice is al dente. Add the broad beans and lemon juice. Mix well and cook for a few minutes, finally add the parmesan.

Broad Beans with Bacon, Goats Cheese and Herby Dressing

Shelled Broad Beans, blanched in boiling water until just tender
Smoked bacon lardons fried until crisp (optional)
75g soft goats cheese

For the dressing, take equal amount s of lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil, then mix in some roughly chopped fresh basil and mint.

Mix together the broad beans, bacon lardons and dressing. Serve with a handful of rocket leaves and crumbled soft goats cheese.

French Beans with Garlic and Almonds

Serves 2-3

200g French Beans, top and tailed
3 tbsp Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
100g slivered or whole almonds
2 tbsp soy sauce

Cook the beans in boiling water (or steam of you prefer) for about 10 minutes until just tender. Drain and pile into a warmed serving dish.
Gently heat the oil with the garlic until it is just turning golden, quickly toss in the almonds and soy sauce, stir and brown for a few more minutes, pour over the French beans and serve immediately.

Green Bean Salad

Serves 2

200g French beans
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
4 tbsp white wine vinegar
6 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of ground coriander
Small handful of fresh coriander, chopped
1 small onion, peeled and sliced

Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the beans for 3-4 minutes, or until tender. Drain.
Whisk the mustard, white wine vinegar, olive oil, coriander and fresh coriander in a bowl until combined.
Stir in the onion and cooked beans and toss to coat.
Transfer the bean salad to a serving plate to serve.


Green Bean Salad with Pine Nuts and Feta

Serves 3

200g French Beans, top and tailed
50 g pine nuts
100g feta, crumbled
A bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
4 tbsp Olive Oil
50g Olives
Juice of a lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Plunge the beans in a pan of boiling water for about 2 minutes, then drain and refresh in cold water until the beans are cold. Drain, dry and place in a salad bowl.
Cook the pine nuts in a non stick pan over a medium heat until golden all over, add the pine nuts to the beans along with the feta, parsley, olives, olive oil, lemon juice and seasoning. Mix well and serve at once.


Flat Beans in Mustard Butter

Serves 4

50g slightly salted butter, softened
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1⁄2 tbsp Wholegrain mustard
2 shallots, chopped (or 1 small onion)
250-300g flat beans, trimmed and sliced

Beat 35g of the butter in a small bowl with the lemon zest and mustard. Melt the remaining butter in a frying pan or wok and gently fry the shallots or onion for about 5 minutes until softened.
Blanch the beans in boiling water for about 5 minutes or until tender, drain and add to the frying pan or wok. Stir in the mustard butter and toss all the ingredients together until evenly coated.
Serve immediately.


Green Beans with Mustard and Ginger

Serves 2

1 tbsp Olive oil
1⁄2 tsp mustard seeds
200g Green Beans, ends trimmed and par boiled
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp peeled and grated root ginger
1⁄2 tsp salt

Par-boil the French beans. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the mustard seeds, after a few seconds add the French beans with the cumin and fry for one minute.
Stir in the ginger and salt and sauté over a low heat for 5 minutes.


Green Beans with Pine Kernels

Serves 2

200g Green Beans, ends trimmed
Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp sunflower oil
20g butter
25g pine kernels

Boil a large pan of salted water and cook the beans for 5-6 minutes or until tender. Drain and refresh in cold running water. Set aside.
Return the pan to a moderate heat and add the oil and half the butter. Cook the pine kernels for 2 minutes until golden, stirring frequently. Season generously.
Remove from the heat, return the beans to the pan, add the rest of the butter and stir to mix.
Warm through and serve.

Green Beans with Tomatoes and Garlic

Serves 2

200g Green beans, topped and tailed
100g tomatoes, quartered
2 Garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp Olive oil
75ml white wine
1⁄2 a lemon, zest and juice
Small handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. In a baking dish, mix the beans, tomatoes, garlic and olive oil. Add half of the wine, the lemon zest and juice and season well. Cover the dish with foil and place in the hot oven
After 10 minutes, remove, stir well and add the rest of the wine. This time leave the foil off and cook for a further 10 minutes at the same temperature, then remove and add the parsley. The tomatoes will have cooked down leaving the beans coated with oily, cooked down tomatoes.
Serve immediately.

Loubia B’Zeit – Beans with Lemon and olive Oil

Serves 2-4 as a side dish

1 tbsp double concentrate tomato puree
1⁄2 tsp fine salt
150ml water
1 large onion, finely chopped
200g French beans or 300g flat beans, topped and tailed, flat beans cut into 2” pieces
3 tbsp Lemon juice
Large pinch ground white pepper
3 tbsp Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced

Put the tomato puree, 2 tbsp of the lemon juice and the salt and pepper in bowl and add the water. Stir well and set aside. Place the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and add the onion. Cook for 10 minutes or until the onion is slightly coloured, then add the garlic and beans, stir well and cook for a further minute

Add the seasoned tomato puree mixture, bring up to a simmer and cover the pan. Turn down the heat to low and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally so the beans do not stick to the pan. Add a tiny bit more water if necessary. When cooked the beans should be soft. Taste and season with the remaining lemon juice and salt and pepper. Drizzle with a little olive oil and serve.


Mixed Vegetable Curry

100g Mushrooms, quartered
100g French Beans, cut into 2.5 cm pieces
1 potato (100g) peeled and cut into sticks
4 fresh Green Chillies
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp Plain natural yoghurt
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
2 small carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
1 onion, peeled and chopped
50g grated coconut
1 tbsp poppy seeds
small tin tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp garam masala

Place the mushrooms, carrots, french beans, potato and onion in a medium sized saucepan. Add 250 ml water, bring to the boil, cover, turn the heat to medium and cook for 4-5 minutes until the vegetables are just tender.

Meanwhile put the coconut, chillies, poppy seeds and salt in the container of an electric blender. Add 150ml water and grind to a fine paste. Set aside. When the veg is cooked add the spice paste and another 150 ml water. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes. Now add the tomatoes, yoghurt and garam masala. Stir gently to mix well. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Serve with rice and garnished with the fresh coriander.


Warm Borlotti Bean Salad

350g fresh borlotti beans
1 small onion, chopped
1 few sprigs of parsley and/or coriander, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes (or 10-12 cherry toms), skinned, deseeded and chopped
1 good tbsp olive oil

Simmer the beans in lightly salted water for 15 minutes or until completely tender. Combine the onion with the herbs, tomatoes and olive oil. As soon as the beans are cooked, drain well, then toss with the rest of the ingredients while still warm. Serve warm.