Can be bought fresh or dried. Dried beans can be green, brown or beige.
Buy dried beans from a store with a high turnover of produce to ensure the beans are not too old.
Fresh broad beans should be selected for their small pods ( the beans will be sweeter and more tender). They are best bought early spring, although late season beans can be turned into dips and purees. Select moist green and crisp pods. If they collapse when held upright they are no good.
Store in a cool dry place in airtight containers. Can be stored in the freezer in humid conditions.
Fresh broad beans can be stored in vegetable bags in the crisper section of the fridge for 2 - 3 days.
Tips & Tricks:
Cheat when you have to with a packet of beans tucked away in the freezer for emergencies.
Fresh beans should be shelled and boiled in fresh water for 3 - 5 minutes (without salt as salt makes the skin tougher). Remove the skin from the bean if it is still tough as it can be bitter and unpleasant tasting.
Soak dried broad beans for 2 days, changing the water regularly before cooking. Pop the bean from the skin and cook in fresh water for up to 2 hours until tender. Do not serve fresh broad beans raw as some people have been known to be allergic to them.