To pod or not to pod that is the question. 

Whilst broad beans have to be removed from their long, green velvety casings, should you go one step further and pop individual beans from their skins once cooked?

One reason might be to turn what are unattractive rather grey/green beans into bright green jewels. But is it really worth the effort?  

My view is that it’s a bit like unnecessarily peeling potatoes whose skins are so good a quick scrub will do.  

And surely, skins contain goodness and vitamins like other fruit and vegetables skin.

Many cooks, including Delia and Jamie, only suggest skinning older, larger beans so make sure you catch your beans early in their season and it will save you work. 

So whilst I wouldn’t advocate skinning, I do draw the line at eating the beans in the pod which many people advocate.

Before, I move on to my recipe for a simple lunch, I’m looking for help. 

We’ve grown tomatoes for the first time and although they’re still at the green stage, I feel a glut coming on. 

So, if you have a recipe that uses huge quantities of cherry tomatoes, please e-mail it to me at

Broad Bean dip/pate - Simple - Makes enough for lunch for 4

  • 150g broad beans, podded
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tbsp crème fraiche
  • Ground cumin, pinch
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cook the beans in salted, boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes depending on their size.
  • Put the drained beans and remaining ingredients in a food processor and blitz for a couple of minutes until chunky.
  • This can be served either as a dip with crudités of carrots, cucumber, pepper. Alternatively spread on toasted sour dough bread.