Broad beans with ham & lemon

I am still on a Spanish buzz! I just can’t get enough of tapas. This dish was inspired by habas con jamon (broad beans with ham) that we had in Spain but using what I had to hand – bacon. We had it twice in Spain. The first time was very disappointing in Plaza Nueva in Granada, in a bodegas which looked great but unfortunately wasn’t. This, incidentally appears to be very rare in Andalucia! The beans were overcooked and I couldn’t even see any ham. However, we had it again and it was delicious, nice bright fresh broad beans amidst chunks of serrano ham, one for the notebook to try and recreate when I got back to London.

It’s broad bean season so I had no problem getting these fresh. At this stage they’re quite large but still tender. To get the best from the broad beans be sure to double pod them. This takes a while but it is worth removing the rubbery skin, especially from larger ones (you can leave it on smaller ones).

Broad beans and ham are a great combination and the lemon lifts it and makes it really summery. It’s a very nice snack with a glass of cava. I will stress that this is my interpretation of the dish and not a traditional spanish recipe. I do intend to dig out the traditional one though and will post the results here.

Ingredients (serves 4 as tapas):

250g broad beans, double podded (weighed when removed from the pod)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 spring onions, finely sliced
150g ham, diced (preferably a spanish ham or pancetta although I used bacon in this instance and it was fine)
juice half lemon, to taste
extra virgin olive oil
good crusty bread cut into slices


Add the double podded broad beans to some boiling water and cook until tender, this should take a only a few minutes for new season broad beans but longer for larger ones. Drain and cool with iced water to stop them cooking and preserve the bright green colour. If you don’t have ice cubes to hand put them through several changes of cold water until cold.

Sauté the garlic in some olive oil over a medium heat for a couple of minutes.

Add the ham and cook for a few minutes until crispy.

Add the broad beans and allow the flavours to mingle for a couple of minutes (until the broad beans are warmed through again).

Add some s&p, lemon juice, a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, the parsley and spring onions. Stir. Taste & add more lemon, oil, s&p as appropriate.

Serve on crusty bread with the juices.



Written by Niamh
Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.