Broad bean bonanza – broad bean and dill pilaf

With yet more broad beans in the garden to use up, I decided to try a pilaf and did a bit of looking around for a suitable recipe. I think the flavours of broad bean and dill go so well together, so when I found a recipe for a Broad Bean and Dill Pilaf on the BBC Goodfood website I was keen to try it keen to eat it! Delicious hot buttery pilaf dotted through with the delicate crunch of fresh sweet broad beans… it’s a winner.

Broad bean and dill pilaf
Broad bean and dill pilaf – served with herby chicken meatballs

During my scouting around for a suitable pilaf recipe, I came across one from Martha Stewart where she served meatballs with the broad bean pilaf. Meatballs are such comfort food, and I thought they’d be a nice accompaniment to the pilaf… I can’t find her recipe now (and didn’t use it anyway), so you’ll just have to take my word for it – the meal was delicious!


Broad bean bonanza – a spring salad

With yet more broad beans to use up, I spied this delicious sounding recipe for a Broad Bean and Orzo
Salad. Yum!

I served the salad with salmon, baked with a crust of the remaining pesto left over from the salad.


Just a quick note regarding the salad – I made my own basil pesto to use for the salad dressing (pesto, olive oil and lemon juice) because I just happened to have the ingredients to hand. I whizzed the pesto ingredients up in my blender which has been well-loved over the years (and in all honesty has probably seen better days) and doesn’t particularly like whizzing things to a ‘fine’ anything… but as I often find with cooking, this was rather serendipitous. The chunky, nutty texture of the ‘pesto’, once stirred through the salad, meant that another layer was added to the mix of flavours and textures in the salad, and it really worked well.

I even had a bit of the salad left over that I had for my lunch the next day, and it had kept surprisingly well (hadn’t turned limp and soggy as most salads do after a night in the fridge). I will be making this again, and using a chunky nutty pesto will be a must!

Broad bean bonanza – Broad bean, lemon and thyme risotto

Our weather here in New Zealand has suddenly reverted back to winter – it’s cold, grey and windy. Where is spring?

Risotto is always such comfort food, and when it’s dismal outside, comfort food is what I crave. So with yet more fresh broad beans from the vege garden needing to be used up, what better way to do it, than in a risotto?

I used this recipe for Broad Bean, Lemon and Thyme Risotto from It’s a very simple recipe that only used a few ingredients, but the end result was fantastic! Just what you’d expect from a risotto – hot melty cheesy rice, with fresh sweet pops of broad beans still with a bit of bite to them (because I added them right at the end to avoid that awful grey colour they can sometimes take on when they’ve been cooked for too long).


Next year, when our vege garden is yet again heaving under the weight of a massive crop of broad beans I will definitely be making this again.

Broad bean bonanza series – Bean, mint and ricotta ravioli

The broad beans in our garden have been taking over lately, so in an effort to use them up, eat seasonally, and try a few new recipes, I am starting Broad Bean Bonanza… a series of bean recipes that will continue until we run out of beans!

Broad beans taking over from the broccoli and weeds!


My husband harvested the beans that were ready to eat, but there are still quite a few small ones left to keep growing.

A bucket load of beans

Looking at the quantity ┬áhe had picked I was a bit reluctant to start shelling them thinking it would take absolutely ages, but once you get into a rhythm it’s really quite therapeutic!

And the result… a whole bowl full ready for eating.

The beautiful sweet little beans look like jewels, they are almost too pretty to eat… I said ALMOST. When they are young and straight from the pod they don’t need to have the outside casing removed, they are full of flavour and crunch – I don’t blanch them either.

I crushed them with mint, ricotta, olive oil, salt and pepper to make a ravioli filling. Delicious!

Fresh pasta rolled out and ready for filling
Fresh pasta rolled out and ready for filling

And the end result… SO good! It was worth all the time and effort spent growing, weeding, watering, harvesting, shelling, and cooking.

Eating time!
Eating time!

The ravioli doesn’t need any sauce – you want to taste the filling. I served it drizzled with olive oil, and topped with parmesan, mint and pepper.