British asparagus and broad beans aren’t around for long, so enjoy them in abundance at their best – for maximum freshness, prepare and cook them as soon as you can after picking or buying
Preparing broad beans properly takes a bit of time, but it’s well worth doing, as the beans look and taste a lot better when you remove their skins. In the past, we have referred to the two-step prep as podding and double podding. But to avoid any confusion, we now describe it as podding (removing the beans from the main pod) and then skinning (slipping the beans out of their thin skins).
Podding To remove the beans, squeeze the « ` Õ Ì Ì « «Ã > ` ÀÕ Þ ÕÀ w }iÀ ` Ü the inside to release the beans. Add to a pan of boiling water and cook for 1-2 mins. Drain and tip into a bowl of cold water.
Skinning use your nail to slit the skin of the cooked bean, then gently pinch it to push out the bright green, smaller bean. In our opinion, even smaller beans are better when skinned.
- > w i ÃÌi Ã ii` ÕÃÌ > Ü>Ã ] >Ã Ì iÞ will be tender along the whole length. For longer, thicker asparagus, bend the stem until it snaps and discard the tougher, paler end. It should snap in just the right place to get rid of the woody section. Trim with a sharp knife so all the spears are the same length. You can then peel any remaining tough skin on the bottom half of each spear with a peeler to reveal the more tender yiÃ ° 7 iÌ iÀ Þ Õ L ] ÃÌi> À }À `` i asparagus, the trick is to keep cooking to a minimum – a few minutes is all it needs.