Habas con Jamon – Broad Beans with Cured Ham

Now, if there was a prize for the least photogenic dish in the world, this one would be up there with the final contenders. It´s a very simple and tasty dish, especially made with the young tender broad beans which are in season right now. Our vegetable patch is delivering nicely and I make these regularly.

And then I take a photo. But to no avail. Broad beans braised slowly for about 30 minutes just don´t look pretty. You have the photos to prove it here. Sigh. If only they were as photogenic as Roger´s beautiful beetroot. But what they lack in looks, they make up for in taste, you´ll just have to believe me on this.

It´s quite a versatile dish – it is served here as a tapas, a side dish or with fried or poached eggs as a light supper dish. It can also be mixed into beaten eggs and made into a tortilla or huevos revueltos (scrambled eggs).


  • 500g of young broad beans (podded, but keep the skins and slice them into 1cm pieces)
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • About 6 cloves of garlic peeled and sliced lengthways in half
  • 100g of finely chopped jamon (or use lardons or pancetta)
  • Olive oil
  • Seasoning
  • Sweet pimentón (optional)

The Spanish way of making this dish is to braise the onion, garlic and beans (pods and skins) in olive oil until tender. It does taste wonderful but this is how I do it.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and  add the bean pods and skins and cook for about 4-5 minutes until just starting to become tender. Drain. Put about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil into a deep frying pan that has a lid (or that you can cover with foil) and gently poach the onions and garlic (with the lid on) until they are soft.

Another dish..another day...and no, still not pretty!

Now add the beans and continue to cook gently, stirring to mix the beans into the oil every so often, with the pan covered. They will simmer and braise until very tender. Near the end of the cooking time add the jamon which will also cook through. I also like to add a sprinkle of pimentón when I add the jamon, but this is not typical. Taste and season if necessary and serve hot or cold.

For a similar dish using runner beans, take a look at this recipe.

Big Man and I are heading to the UK tomorrow. We have packed our umbrella as I think we have a few rainy days awaiting us. I won´t have access to e-mail but I look forward to catching up with you all next week – hope it´s a good one for everyone!


67 thoughts on “Habas con Jamon – Broad Beans with Cured Ham

  1. I love broad beans and noticed them on sale in the Boqueria on Friday. Your recipe is an excellent way of cooking them! Have a good trip 😉

    1. Yes, it´s definitely broad bean time here although you can buy them frozen (just the pods) all year quite cheaply. Hope your trip is going/gone well! Just need to finish chucking a few things in the case and we´re good to go….!

  2. I love simple dishes like this – they warm your soul with comfort and deliciousness too.
    How exciting to be making a trip home with Big Man. Enjoy and looking forward to catching up with you when you are back.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  3. Me encantan las habas!! And with jamón? Yum! Fried spinach with garlic, and habas con jamón, have to be two of my favorite ways to eat veggies here in Spain. 😉

  4. I love the sound of this dish. In the UK I never experimented by trying different dishes.
    using veg that’s one of the best things I like about living aborad and of course blogging. It takes you out of your comfort zone. I can’t remember when did you plant your broad beans? Is it just one crop a year or can you plant them throughout the summer?

    1. We planted at Christmas but you can plant pretty much all year. One of my neighbours plants a handful every month but we just do one planting, sometimes two (another at the end of summer). And yes, blogging opens you up to all sorts of exciting new ways of doing things!

  5. I’m fairly certain I’ve seen broad beans at our market here! Will have to look for them next weekend when they open:) Have a wonderful journey/escape.. even in the rain it will be a glorious holiday I imagine!!

    1. We´re over in the UK on a bit of a business trip but we will get time to do a little socialising, so not all work, which is good! If you do see broad beans, do buy a kilo and think of us!

  6. I think the mix of broad beans with the jambon must be delicious and I love the idea of topping a serving with a poached egg. Have a safe trip, Tanya, and wonderful visit. 🙂

  7. I know envy is a terrible thing, but I do envy you your vegetable garden! Have a wonderful trip to the UK. It’s sunny today but the end of the week is looking less promising. But then, they don’t always get it right…so fingers crossed.

    1. Veggie envy is fine – people don´t commit murder over broad beans 😉 Mind you… maybe they do in something like Midsomer Murders! We have been experiencing 4 seasons in one day here this week so are prepared for any weather!

      1. My friend lives in Edinburgh and says the same about the weather there. You’d never buy a house in Midsomer, although I suspect there are plenty of empty properties and low prices! 😉

  8. I saw a farmer at the bins today as I was recycling my wine bottles. He had afew crates of broad beans and lollo rosso in his van to take to the market. I made a mental note to look at broad bean recipes when I got in. Completely forgot until now, thanks for the reminder, and I never knew that you could eat the skins too. Enjoy your trip!

    1. Funny – I did my recycling today too! I know you don´t eat meat, but braised like this with plenty of garlic, pimentón and even a couple of spoons of crushed tomatoes is wonderful. And don´t throw the skins away (unless the beans are really big inside in which case the skins will be tough) they´re gorgeous 🙂

  9. I’m so pleased you posted a borad bean recipe, my broad beans ove rthe last year or two have frankly been crap, but this year WILL be different!! I hope you packed a souwester as well as the umbrella 😉

    1. Interesting – but maybe you mean that they stew their vegetables! They are good though, and this comes from a woman who normally likes here veg crunchy 🙂

  10. As long as its tasty and simple I dont mind how it looks. Sometimes even the most boring looking food are the ones that taste real good, it happens a lot in cases of Asian dishes

  11. It’s funny, I used to detest broad beans with every fibre of my being when I was a kid. Now it’s a real treat when I can find them in the stores and get them in. I bet this must be tasty, and it looks plenty pretty to me to be honest!

  12. A delicious meal to start the day! My son has been craving for ham lately and now I can make it even more exciting by following this recipe. As for beans, I’ve yet to convince him that it’s good…and healthy. Thanks…

  13. I think your photo is very good. I love broad beans…they are sometimes called Italian green beans here. I hope the weather turns nicer for you. Even if it is work, I know you will enjoy your trip.

  14. Roger is talented in making food look beautiful but I can I agne how delicious these broad beans taste.

  15. Luckily I bet this was much tastier than it looks! And some things are just impossible to make pretty. Hope you enjoyed your visit to the UK!

  16. I love this preparation for broad beans and bet it would be terrific with other green beans, too. Broad beans aren’t quite in season here yet, but I’ll be on the lookout so I can try this out!

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