Bessara – A Diamond of a Broad Bean Dip

bessara with rabbit ranch pinotYes, it may seem that I am a little broad bean obsessed lately. But I do have a broad bean plantation growing in my backyard. I thought it was high-time I address the question – just what do you do with all those broad beans? Well let me introduce you to my Egyptian friend Bessara.

I’m dippy for dips. They are so versatile – one minute a fabulous accompaniment to vegetables and bread to share with friends, next a quick and easy lunch slathered other pasta or potatoes, and later on, add some water or stock and you have a tasty, tasty soup. You put all that effort into making some concentrated deliciousness and then use that as the base for so much eating. Love them.

Bessara Broad Bean Recipe

Please note that I don’t use exact quantities with my recipes because it all comes down to individual tastes and complementing the natural flavours of your produce. Plus, I couldn’t follow a recipe to save my life. Cook with your senses people, let them be the guide!

About 2 cups of fresh broad beans
A glug of olive oil (around 2 tablespoons)
3-4 cloves of garlic
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2c olive oil
1 teaspoon each of cumin and paprika
A good pinch of chilli
Sea salt and black pepper

Sort your freshly picked broad beans into roughly two sizes – big and bitty. Pop the big ones into a large pot with lots of cold water, a glug of olive oil and the smashed garlic cloves. Bring to the boil and then add bitty beans and simmer for 20-30 mins until nice and soft. Drain the liquid. Perfectionists may wish to remove gray skins for a smoother, greener product.

Get the blender out and add beans, lemon juice and enough oil to make a smooth paste.Season to your tastebud tantalising perfection. Drizzle with some olive oil and smear over.


Want more dip-tacular ideas for broad beans? Sue at Five Course Garden does a wonderful hummus-style broad beans on toast. In fact, I think I might have that for lunch.