Autumn is a fantastic time to boost your broad bean crops. 

Although broad in name, these vegetables don’t take up a lot of space in the garden. Sow your beans in large pots, raised beds or in the ground to get started. Make sure to try out the delicious courgette and broad bean risotto recipe below with your newly grown beans…

Here are some tips from our friends at gardenersworld.com to help get you started on your plot to plate journey.

Broad beans 2018 garden

‘Made in Birmingham Garden’ by Paul Stone at BBC Gardeners’ World Live 2018

  • In October and November you’ll need hardy varieties like Aquadulce Claudia for a successful harvest.
  • Problems with mice? Sow your seeds in pots first to avoid your seeds being eaten! You can then plant them outside six weeks later.
  • To prevent squirrels and birds eating your seeds, protect them by putting down netting.
broad bean flowering plant
  • Once you see flowers appear, make sure to water your plants regularly for the best results.
  • Broad beans can sometimes attract blackfly. Pinch out the growing tips when you see flowers appear to prevent attacks.
  • For tender beans, harvest when the pods are around 6cm long
  • Watch out for ‘broad bean chocolate spot!’ Common in autumn, this can be avoided by maximising air flow around plants and removed any weeds.

Rosie Birkett joined us at BBC Good Food Show Summer 2019 on both the Good Food and Summer Kitchen stages. Check out her tasty recipe below for a delicious broad bean recipe!

Stay tuned for line-up announcements to BBC Good Food Show Summer 2022.

COURGETTE & BROAD BEAN RISOTTO WITH BASIL PESTO

by Rosie Birkett

Serves 2 as a main; 4 as a starter

Cooks in Preparation Time: 25 mins, Cooking Time: 30 mins

Difficulty: Easy

Rosie Birkett

METHOD

1. To make the pesto, crush the garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt using a pestle and mortar. Add the pine nuts and pound to a coarse paste, then tear in the basil and mint, pounding again until they’ve broken down. Stir in the oil and cheese, then taste for seasoning – add more cheese if you prefer.

2. To make the risotto, heat the oil and butter in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the courgettes, sprinkle in the chilli flakes and nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Fry for 3-5 mins until the courgettes are golden and softened. Add the spring onions and lemon zest, and stir for a minute or two. Tip in the rice and stir to coat in the oil until translucent, about 2 mins.

3. Pour in the wine, then cook for a couple of minutes until it’s mostly evaporated. Add a ladleful of the stock and stir for a few minutes until it’s absorbed. Continue adding a ladleful at a time for 20-30 mins, stirring continually, until all of the stock is absorbed.

4. Stir in the blanched broad beans and flowers, if using, and warm through for 2 mins. Remove from the heat and stir through the parmesan. Allow to sit for about 5 mins, then swirl through half of the pesto.
Any remaining pesto will keep chilled for up to two days.

5. Divide the risotto between bowls and scatter with the extra basil leaves, extra cheese and another spoonful of the pesto, if you like.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 medium courgettes (about 350g), cut into 1-2cm dice
  • pinch of chilli flakes or pul biber
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • ½ lemon, zested
  • 150g risotto rice
  • 75ml dry white wine or vermouth
  • 750g warm vegetable or chicken stock
  • 80g broad beans, blanched and peeled
  • courgette flowers, stamen removed and petals torn (optional)
  • 20g parmesan or vegetarian alternative, grated

    FOR THE PESTO:

    • 1 garlic clove
    • 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
    • large handful of basil leaves, plus extra to serve
    • handful of mint leaves
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tbsp grated parmesan or vegetarian alternative
    pestle

    We hope you enjoy growing and eating your delicious broad beans. For advice on grow your own from top experts, and garden and foodie inspiration make sure you book tickets to BBC Gardeners’ World Live. Tickets include entry to BBC Good Food Show Summer!

    BBC Gardeners' World is bursting with garden and grow your own inspiration...
    Top chefs, treats and artisan producers at the BBC Good Food Show Summer