Beans - lots of them!

If there's one thing I've learnt so far from having an allotment, it's that no two years are the same.
Summer this year began with copious amounts of rain but very little sun. The strawberries sulked but the gooseberries seemed to love it.
The sun has only really made an appearance in the last week or so.  Consequently, the plums, of which there are many, are still quite green. But looking back through this blog, I see that, in previous years, I was already cooking with them - see plum chutney.

But we have beans: broad, runner and French.
Lots of beans!

Eldest Lovely Daughter, told me of a recipe she had made recently from Hemsley +Hemsley 's first book.
Both Lovely Daughters are interested in cooking and nutrition, following in their Nana Ida's footsteps ( and I like to think in their Mama's too!) 
Eldest daughter's interest is particularly apposite as she has a tiny mouth to feed and tiny taste buds to train.

The recipe she told me about is called Minty Broad Bean Dip:

400g fresh or frozen broad beans (or a mixture of beans and peas - and I think I prefer a mixture)
1 clove of garlic
12 fresh mint leaves
4 tablsp lemon juice
120 ml olive oil
 Parmesan or goat's cheese to taste ( optional, but it does give a creamier result)

Very lightly steam the vegetables for a few minutes only and blitz in a processor with the rest of the ingredients and some salt and pepper.
Add a little water if you think it is too thick.
Quick and delicious!

The second bean recipe I made this week was based on Delia's recipe for Mixed Vegetables a la Grecque.
This was one of my favourite recipes years ago and one I had forgotten about until I was trawling through my cookbooks looking for recipes to make with the bean harvest.
I love the pickled taste that comes from the wine vinegar and coriander seeds.
I adapted the recipe by just using French beans, but of course it is just as delicious with mixed vegetables.

We may have a bit of a bean glut this year chez fenland lottie, but, and I can hardly believe it, so far I have only picked one courgette!
I think I have finally learnt my lesson and only planted one yellow courgette plant this year, but is also an indication of how late the season is round here.

Happy weekend everyone!
The sun is still shining and it's going to be hot!

annjenny x


  1. My beans are only just starting to appear but I know it will only be a matter of days. The courgettes are plentiful as always though. I like the sound of the bean dip.

  2. Ooh, more lovely recipes to try. Do the broad beans need to be de-skinned?

    1. I didn't but think when I make it again I probably will as it takes away the slightly bitter taste x

  3. Thanks so much for the recipe. I've just made it with frozen broad beans and very nice it was too. There was a slight bitterness but I thought it was my olive oil. My mint was a little tired too with the droughty conditions we've had here. Might try substituting some yoghurt for some of the oil next time.

    I'm inspired to have another go at growing broad beans next year in the hope that the black fly can't find their way to our new plot.

    1. So glad you tried the recipe too :) Surprisingly there were no black fly on the broad beans this year. I'm not sue why not- maybe it was the cold spring. Other years I have pinched out the growing tips which seems to have helped.


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