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.
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.
© 1998 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.