Broad beans in garlic cream sauce

Very French, very posh, very tasty.

Fresh broad beans are always the tastiest, but only available sparsely. Luckily, if you double-pod frozen broad beans, they are quite tasty too and will work very well in this dish. Just let them defrost, remove the skin, and skip the boiling step in the recipe below. Frozen broad beans are already blanched, so heating them trough in the sauce is enough.

Broad Beans in Garlic Cream Sauce

Broad beans in garlic cream sauce (serves 4)
From Rick Stein’s French Odyssey

600 g shelled broad beans
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
large pinch of sugar
85 ml cream
1 tsp thyme or summer savory, chopped
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
salt and pepper

Cook the broad beans in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes until tender. Drain and, if young, leave as they are, but if slightly older, remove their tough outer skin if you wish.
Soften the garlic with a pinch of salt in the olive oil in a wide, shallow pan. Add the white wine vinegar and sugar, and simmer until almost all the liquid has disappeared (this will smell strongly acidic).
Add the cream, bring to the boil and simmer until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Add the cooked beans and simmer a few minutes longer until the sauce coats the beans.
Add the thyme (or summer savory) and parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Variation: use green beans/haricot verts instead of the broad beans; I think it would be very nice with peas too.

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