Broad beans (or lima beans) are some of the most reliable, easiest to grow vegetables, at least in our climate. The large seeds are easy to handle and undeterred by cold, they can be sown very early. They’ll do well even in relatively poor soil and, being a nitrogen-fixer, will leave the soil in better condition than it was before. When they’re finished, there’s usually still time to plant another crop. I often plant either leeks or winter kale, both of which appreciate the extra nitrogen left in the soil.This frittata is what I made with the first harvest of the year. It is a very simple dish with few ingredients. But because of that all of them are important. Obviously, you couldn’t make a frittata without eggs, but don’t leave the dill out either – for me this herb was what made the dish memorable and worth repeating.
Broad beans previously: Broad beans in tomato sauce with many spices
Broad bean frittata
Because my beans were the tiniest, youngest, freshest, I did not bother to remove the skins. But if your beans are any larger, do not skip this step, because the skins can be a little tough and bitter when cooked and will disrupt the structure of the dish.
Adapted from Nigel Slater: Tender vol.I
200g young broad beans (shelled weight)
2 tbsp chopped dill
A large knob of butter
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius and put in a shallow oven- proof about 20 cm diameter, generously greased with the butter.
Bring a deep pan of water to the boil, drop in the beans and boil till tender. They should be ready in about four or five minutes, depending on size and freshness.
Drain, cool slightly under running water, then pop the beans out of their skins. (You can skip this step if your beans are really tiny and fresh).
Roughly chop about 2/3 of the beans. Finely grate the Parmesan cheese. Break the eggs into a medium bowl and beat them lightly with a fork. Stir in the parmesan cheese, the chopped dill and the chopped beans. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Take the baking dish out off the oven (use oven mittens!) and pour in the egg mixture. Add the whole beans and put in the oven. Cook till the eggs have set and the top is lightly coloured, about 25 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.