Fresh broad beans are the best in this recipe - just pod and peel them and measure the weight only in beans. But eat this Greek dish - aka Koukia Lathera - anytime of year using frozen broad beans. Serve with crusty bread and good feta for an excellent vegetarian main.
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, grated
400g frozen or fresh broad beans
250ml water (or as needed)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 to 2 teaspoons dried oregano
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
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Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the grated onion and saute gently for 5 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Ensure that the onion doesn't brown.
Add the broad beans to the saucepan and saute gently for a minute. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the water and tomato paste. Add the oregano, salt and pepper. Cover partially and cook at a strong simmer for a further 20 to 25 minutes, or until the broad beans are soft. Note that you don't want any water left in the pan; if you're getting toward the end of cooking and notice there's too much water, uncover the pan so that as much water as possible evaporates, leaving a rich tomato and olive oil sauce.
To enjoy koukia the traditional Greek way, serve a big plate of broad beans as a main course with some crusty bread to mop up the sauce, and slices of good feta.
If you are using fresh broadbeans make sure you double pod them. To do that remove the beans from the pods then drop them in boiling water for a couple of minutes. Drain then put them in ice water for a minute or two. Their tough outer skin should remove easily.