An extremely useful recipe, nutritious and with many uses. Tuck feta and broad bean dip into sandwiches, pile it onto crackers as a snack, or even serve it warm as an easy side dish.
Total Time Investment: 25 minutes
School is back for the year, which means I am also back on school lunches. The first week The Princess was sent off to school with a lunchbox full of lentil and roast beef salad. This week she has lamb kebabs. Give me a few weeks, and we all know the wheels will fall of this lunch packing thing.
Which is why I find it very handy to have some easy, yet still nutritious, recipes like this dip up my sleeve. Broad bean dip does double duty as both an easy sandwich filling, and as after school snacks with sourdough crackers.
I was never really a fan of broad beans. I always thought them to be leathery and chewy, and quite frankly very unpleasant. That is until I discovered that the beans need to be double podded. Doh! Apparently you need to take off not only the thick fleshy outer pod, but also the wrinkly, leathery skin that covers each individual bean.
When it comes to actually cooking broad beans, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, then drop the podded broad beans into the water. Allow the beans to come back to the boil, then cook them for 3 – 5 minutes depending on their size. The larger the bean, the longer the cooking time. Drain the beans, then plunge them into cold water to stop the cooking process.
Once the beans are cool enough to handle, slip the green bean out of the leathery cover. I do this by nicking the cover with my fingernail, then squeezing the bean out. Discard the pod, and use the green bean in your recipe.
I realise that this seems like a lot of work, but trust me as it is well worth the effort. If you leave the skins on, then the broad bean dip will have lots of chewy bits that will be unpleasant to eat.
Broad bean dip is extremely versatile. It can be served as a dip, spread on slices of bread or tucked into sandwiches for an easy lunch, or even served warm as a side dish. The recipe below is actually the perfect consistency for spreading on bread, or for filling sandwiches. To actually use it as a dip or side dish, add a little more olive oil, or even some hot water, to thin it out a little.
If you really can’t be bothered podding broad beans, you could use frozen peas instead. Peas will make the dip sweeter, so you may wish to add more lemon juice to balance this sweetness.
Goat’s cheese can be used in place of the feta.
Getting Ahead with Broad Bean Dip
Broad bean dip will last for up to a week in the fridge in an airtight container, so can be readily made ahead.
Refrigerating the dip will cause it to thicken due to the olive oil. This will not be an issue if you are using it as a spread. However, if you serving it as a dip, allow the container to sit out of the fridge for 30 minutes before adding any more oil or water to thin it down.
If you wish to use it as a side dish, make the dip ahead then store it in the fridge. I would reheat it over a low – medium heat on the stove, adding a splash of water to thin it slightly. Stir frequently whilst reheating to prevent it sticking to the pan.
Feta & Broad Bean Dip
- 500 g (2 cups) shelled broad beans fresh or frozen
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 50 g (1/3 cup) feta crumbled
- 40 ml (2 Tablespoons) lemon juice
- 40 ML (2 Tablespoons) olive oil
- Salt & pepper
Bring a medium size pot of salted water to the boil.
Add the broad beans. Allow the water to come back to the boil, then cook for 3 - 5 minutes depending on the size of the beans.
Remove the pot from the heat and drain. Rinse the beans under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Pinch the grey skin off the bean with your fingers. I do this by nicking the skin with my fingernail, then squeezing the green inner out of the pod.
Add the podded broad beans and the rest of the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until the desired consistency is achieved.
- Remove to a bowl and adjust the seasonings to taste.
This spread is ready for adaptation. Add more feta, lemon juice or garlic depending on your tastes.
I prefer a slight texture to the dip, so only pulse the ingredients to roughly combine them. Feel free to purée the dip to a smoother consistency if that is what you prefer.
Use a good fruity olive oil to compliment the beans.
If serving as a dip, drizzle with olive oil and crumble additional feta over the top.
This spread will also work using frozen broad beans.
* This post was originally published in December 2013. It has been substantially updated and revised from the original.