In Spain, the broad bean plays a significant part in the mediterranean diet throughout spring, when it’s in season and just as we have yummy artichoke tapas, we also have tasty broad bean tapas which we make at home.
In our village we even have a festival dedicated to the broad bean, called Día de la Haba (day of the broad bean!) where the market stalls set up with artisan products and the town puts up stalls with a variety of different recipes with broad beans.
The traditional habas recipes aren’t exactly vegan-friendly, but you can make lots of the broad bean recipes at home, vegan style. One of the favourites is a veganised version of Cazuela de Habas, which is like a potato & bean stew.
How to Make Broad Bean Tapas
The most straightforward, common way to cook the broad bean is to steam-fry it in a pan with a little olive oil and salt.
You can use this same way of cooking the broad beans whether they’re young in their pods, or whether they get tougher and the beans are out of the pods, or shelled.
Heat a little olive oil and add the chopped broad beans-in-the-pods and beans-out-of-the-pods to the pan. Stir to coat in the oil and sprinkle with salt.
Broad beans need salt and they need more salt than you might expect. If unsure, add a little, wait a while and then taste them. Chances are, you ‘ll need to add a bit more salt before you finish the cooking.
Let the broad beans fry in the oil for about 5 minutes, then cover the pan with a lid and lower the heat. Check the beans every so often to make sure they’re doing okay.
At the end of the cooking time, raise the heat and remove the lid for a few minutes. I like them to go brown and crunchy at the bottom of the pan and it will take a little while for that to happen, about 30-40 minutes depending how many you’re cooking.
I just love to eat them on their own!
This way of cooking broad beans tastes completely different than a bowl of frozen broad beans out of a packet, so if you’ve never tried these, be prepared for a different experience!
And don’t forget, broad beans are an excellent source of plant protein, fibre, folate and B vitamins, so they’re well worth including in your diet.
Other Vegan Tapas
But one of my all time favourites, and i mean like maybe my absolute favourite tapas, is the simple crudités with dip. So take some raw veggies like cucumber, carrots, cherry tomatoes, red pepper, celery and whatever else takes your fancy and slice them into thin sticks. Then you can serve them with a hummus or basil version of cashew sauce, or a thin version of vegan pesto sauce.
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