Official Tasting Notes provided by George McIvor, Chairman of The Master Chefs of Great Britain:

The humble and often disregarded broad bean has a surprising history of medicinal and culinary benefits. Broad beans are also known as fava beans but are not a bean at all but related to the pea family. The name broad bean refers to the large flat seeds in the pod. They are known for their nutty flavour and creamy texture.

Broad beans are a nutritional powerhouse, high in protein and fibre, an excellent source of folate and a good source of other B vitamins. They also contain something special – the chemical L-dopa, which helps to increase dopamine levels in the brain and can help to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s, such as tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with movement.

There is evidence to suggest that broad beans have been cultivated since as far back as 4500 B.C. in the Middle East. This makes them one of the oldest known cultivated crops, and a staple of many diets in the region for thousands of years.

Young, tender pods can be consumed whole, as green beans. More commonly, the beans are extracted from leathery pods and used for the preparation of risottos, salads, stews, soups, and dishes made of lamb, poultry and seafood.

Meal Inspiration:


Featuring twists of Casarecce pasta, with an irresistibly indulgent silky peppery carbonara sauce mixed with sautéed shallots, leeks, chopped rosemary, broad beans, peas and tender chunks of carrot and tempeh, marinated in paprika and soy sauce.


This supergreen salad is the perfect side at a barbecue or use it to top some tasty bruschetta paired with a white bean and lemon dip for a light lunch.


Nessa, Soho, the newly opened restaurant with executive chef Tom Cenci has a ‘Not Avocado on toast’ dish on the menu using broad beans as a more sustainable alternative.


These tartines (or open sandwiches) are quick to make and are packed full of goodness. No need to buy fresh vegetables, frozen is all you need for this super summer dish.


Nina Matsunaga at the Black Bull recommends this as a lighter pesto, drizzled over pasta or to accompany a mozzarella and tomato sandwich, made by blending broad beans with hazelnuts and lovage.

Waste Not Want Not

Don’t let any leftover broad beans go to waste. Enjoy all year round by freezing them and if you blanch them first it will increase their lifespan. Whizz them up into a delicious hummus to keep in the fridge for up to five days or blitz to make fritters served with simple salad.