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To peel or not to peel your broad bean?

Blog • July 31st 2013

At this time of year we are spoilt for choice with an abundance of fresh produce and the broad bean is what I call a "marmite" vegetable, it's loved or not so loved. If you're your taste buds lie on the side of not liking this vegetable I ask you to give it another try. Nothing quite beats young broad beans freshly plucked from the field hand shucked, revealing green beans cosily nestled in a duvet lined pod, nature could not have created a more comfortable beginning for these gems.

Once shucked this is where the discussion starts, should each individual bean then be shelled of its sage green jacket, revealing a bright green inner gem. Some may say that the peeled husk needs to be removed as it can be a little leathery, but if the bean is young and fresh it really should be tender, if large, out of season or frozen it may be worth peeling. Chefs tend to peel them in classy restaurants but so they should if the dish is costing the earth, I myself tend to peel a third of the beans, as I just love the added vibrant green colour that they add, along with a creamier, softer texture. My final words of wisdom also come down to time its very relaxing to peel them and create a fine looking dish but sometimes supper is needed too quickly!