Beanz Meanz Fitz

I have a great friend who used to live in Cockermouth, Cumberland, in a large country house called ‘The Fitz’ where I learnt this receipt, hence the name.


  • 675 g/ lb shelled, fresh, young broad beans
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 rashers of bacon, cut into little strips
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and left in cold water
  • parsley and chives
  • tins anchovy fillets


Make a dressing with about 150 ml/¼ pint of best olive oil, adding lemon juice and seasoning to taste; keep it quite tart. For easy mixing, make it in a screwtop jar. Grill or fry the bacon until quite crisp and drain on paper towels. Put the beans into boiling salted water and cook until just tender; drain and ‘refresh’ under cold running water. Pat the eggs dry (keeping them in water helps to avoid that dark line round the yolk) and chop roughly together with a good amount of parsley and snipped chives.

Lay the beans in some ravishing china dish, sprinkle with the bacon pieces, pile the eggs and herbs on next and lattice the top with the anchovy fillets. Chill slightly. Just before serving, give the dressing a good shake and drizzle all over the beans. Bring to the table with some good crusty bread and unsalted butter. I think young broad beans picked straight from the garden are the most superior vegetable of all.