Food from your backyard: gardeners share their recipes for broad beans

Food from your backyard: gardeners share their recipes for broad beans

Happy Cow Burger Patties

Lynda and Jim Hill have been living in their home in the urban area of โ€‹โ€‹Westport for 10 years now, tending to their town garden. Broad beans are Lynda’s favorite vege โ€“ she’ll munch on them raw while harvesting them. Lynda has had success with ‘Early Long Pod’ broad beans, which are planted in a sunny area at the beginning of September and are ready by mid-December.

These patties, she explains, can be used in burger buns and served with salads or served with vegetables and gravy.

Makes 4 patties


Stalks from 1 bunch fresh cilantro

400g can mixed beans, drained

200g podded broad beans

ยฝ teaspoon cayenne pepper

ยฝ teaspoon ground cumin

ยฝ teaspoon ground cilantro

Grated zest of 1 lemon

1 heaped tablespoon plain flour, plus extra for dusting

Pinch of salt & freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil


Put all the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a food processor. Whiz to combine into a fine mixture, scraping down the sides of the processor as you go if needed.

Tip the mixture on to a generously floured board, divide into 4 pieces, then form each piece into a patty and flatten to about 2.5cm thick, dusting your hands and the burgers with flour as you go.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the burgers and cook while pressing them down with a spatula. Flip when the underside is golden and cook on the other side until golden. Serve immediately.

Tips You can either reserve the cilantro leaves to serve as a garnish on the burger, reserve them to use in other recipes, or add them to the processor too. If you’re using frozen broad beans, remove the quantity needed from the freezer about 30 minutes before making the burger mixture โ€“ when they’re thawed a little, it’s easier on the food processor.

Pick broad beans when they're young and tender.


Pick broad beans when they’re young and tender.

Broad Bean Pesto

Food and nutrition teacher Erin MacDonald lives under Mount Taranaki at 345m above sea level โ€“ so there’s frosts and rain aplenty. Despite the challenging conditions, Erin is a keen gardener and has had good success with broad beans. She buys the seedlings from Awapuni Nurseries and plants them in the soil she’s fertilized using the cleanings from the shearing shed. When they start to grow, she ties them to the fence that surrounds the garden in an effort to deter the free-range chickens!

Makes about 2 cups


1ยฝ cups podded and peeled broad beans

1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 cloves garlic

1 cup fresh basil leaves or parsley

6 fresh mint leaves

ยฝ teaspoon salt

ยฝ cup grated parmesan

ยฝ-1 cup olive oil


Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the broad beans and simmer for 2 minutes. Drain and cool.

In a blender, combine the broad beans, lemon juice, garlic, herbs and salt. You could also add toasted almonds or other nuts here if you like.

Add the parmesan and oil until it reaches your desired consistency. Scrape down the sides to get it mixed well.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Broad Bean Pie

After a move from Christchurch to Northland, Sara Crane is on a steep learning curve when it comes to gardening, but that extra effort will be worth it given broad beans are one of Sara’s favorite vegetables. She considers it worth her while to skin as well as pod them unless they are tiny: โ€œDon’t overcook broad beans. Plunge them in cold water and sit down with a cup of tea to pop them out of their little cases (the chickens will eat these), but give the outer pods to the worms or compost them.โ€

Serves 4-6


Olive oil, for cooking

2 large onions, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1 cup sliced โ€‹โ€‹mushrooms

4 cups podded broad beans, skinned yew large

1 packet puff pastry, rolled out, or 6 sheets filo pastry, buttered

Chopped parsley or chervil, to serve

cheese sauce

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon flour

1 cup cream

1 cup grated cheese

pinch of nutmeg

ยผ teaspoon sumac


Preheat the oven to 180C.

Heat some oil in a medium pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic, and saute until the onion is really soft but not coloured, about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the broad beans.

For the cheese sauce: Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the flour, whisk into the butter and continue cooking while whisking for about 2 minutes. Add the cream in slowly, stirring constantly. Once the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat and stir through the cheese and spices until the cheese has melted. The sauce will be quite thick. Set aside.

Line a deep pie dish or 20cm cake tin with the pastry or filo (use some melted butter to brush the sheets, keeping them under a damp cloth as you go), making sure there is heaps of overhang.

Pile in the broad bean mixture and cover with the cheese sauce. Loosely crumple the pastry edges over and bake for about 40 minutes until the pastry is crisp and delicious. Sprinkle with parsley or chervil before serving.

Broad Bean Pate

Susan Beaven just moved into a โ€œblank slate beach gardenโ€ earlier this year and is busy setting up a food forest, herb and picking flower border, and her own square-foot-garden-style vege patch.

This Broad Bean Pate is Susan’s invention for using up those elusive pods that you didn’t catch when they were young and tender.

Make as much as you like!


Broad beans, podded

cream cheese


Cook the broad beans in a saucepan of boiling water for about 2 minutes. When cool enough to handle squeeze out of the tough skins. Mash the broad beans with an equal volume of cream cheese until your desired consistency. Season well with salt, pepper and a few drops of lemon juice. Feel free to boost the flavor of the pate by adding whatever extras you have to hand โ€“ chopped herbs, gherkins or capers all work brilliantly.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *