Henry’s Italian Broad Beans
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
2-3 large cloves garlic
400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 level tbsp extra virgin olive oil
350g frozen broad beans
A small handful basil leaves
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Veg Portions / Serving: 1
Recipe donated by Henry Dimbleby for Veg Power. Recipe from "Leon: Naturally Fast Food" by Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent. Food photography by Georgia Glynn Smith | glynnsmith.co.uk Portrait photography by Sam Robinson | sam-robinson.com
Being the offspring of a cookery writer (Josceline Dimbleby) is a privilege. I didn’t learn to cook at mum’s elbow – she was always busy making notes and would shoo me and my sisters out of the kitchen. But I learned to eat. Meal after meal even we were the guinea pigs for experiments with new dishes that she had picked up at home and abroad.
When we opened Leon she would be there several times a week, tasting, making notes, and giving advice. And occasionally offering some fast recipes of her own. These Italian broad beans are one of them – a store cupboard stable that you can whip up in 20 minutes as a simple supper with bread or to serve as a side.
Peel the garlic and slice across in very thin slivers.
Put the tomatoes, garlic and olive oil in a heavy saucepan and season generously with freshly ground black pepper.
Bring up to bubbling point and add the broad beans.
Bring the mixture to the boil again and then simmer gently in the open pan for 10-15 minutes until the sauce has reduced and any liquid has evaporated.
Add the basil leaves and serve.
Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.
Kids in the kitchen
Get kids to peel the garlic, measure the olive oil and weigh the broad beans. They’ll probably enjoy picking the basil leaves and grinding the pepper into the sauce, too. Encourage children to taste this dish before it goes to the table, and let them judge if it needs more basil or seasoning.
While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.
Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.
The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.