Broad beans with prosciutto

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Feeds


    as a side dish

Appears in

Old Food

Old Food

By Jill Dupleix

Published 1998

  • About

Known as ‘the meat of the poor’, broad beans are now the vegetable of the rich, double-shelled and gleaming green in their nakedness. I generally prefer them clothed because I love the flavour of the skin as much as the nutty bean itself, and because there is only so much peeling I can handle. Make your own choice with this recipe, which links them sympathetically with prosciutto and sweet onion.


  • 1 kg (2 lb) broad beans
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped onion
  • 4 slices prosciutto, finely chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • extra virgin olive oil


Shell broad beans, and proceed with recipe, or cook in boiling, salted water for 10 minutes, then peel off skins and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed, non-reactive frypan, add onion and cook until soft but still white. Add prosciutto and cook for 1 minute. Add broad beans, salt, pepper and chicken broth, cover and cook gently for 15 minutes until beans are tender. Toss parsley through beans and serve in a warm bowl with a drizzle of olive oil on top, and lots of crusty bread nearby.