Smashed broad beans

This is always lots of fun in kitchen classes because students love podding the fresh green broad beans, and it’s certainly much quicker with plenty of little fingers to double-pod the broad beans.

Season:  Winter/Spring

Type:  Starters

Difficulty:  Easy

Serves:  6 at home or 30 tastes in the classroom

Fresh from the garden:  broad beans

Recipe source: Adapted from Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Companion


  • large saucepan
  • bowls – 2 small, 1 medium, 1 large
  • chopping board and non-slip mat
  • knives, 1 small, 1 large
  • mortar and pestle
  • metric measuring spoons and cups
  • grater
  • colander
  • serving bowls


  • 2kg broad beans
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 150ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 50g pecorino
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

What to do

  • Set out your equipment and ingredients.
  • Put the large saucepan of water on to boil.
  • Fill the large bowl with cold water.
  • Set out the chopping board and non-slip mat.
  • Pod the broad beans.
  • Boil the podded beans for 2-3 minutes, then drain and refresh the beans in the bowl of cold water.
  • Double-pod the beans by slipping the inner bean out of its skin.  Put the inner beans in the medium bowl and the skins into the compost bucket.
  • Remove the skin from the garlic and roughly chop, then grind to a paste with the mortar and pestle and set aside in a small bowl.
  • Grate the pecorino into a small bowl.
  • In batches, put the beans in the mortar and pestle and pound roughly, then add a splash of olive oil, then add the pecorino.  Stir and taste.
  • Add salt and grind some pepper in.  Taste again.
  • Pour back into the medium bowl and set aside, allowing the flavours to infuse into the beans.
  • Divide among serving bowls and drizzle with a little more extra-virgin olive oil.

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