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Henry’s Italian Broad Beans

Henry Dimbleby


Serves: 4-6

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


Kitchen Ninja

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 | Portrait photography by Sam Robinson |

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 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.

Henry Dimbleby

Henry co-founded the fast food restaurant chain, Leon and the not-for-profit Sustainable Restaurant Association and is co-author of  Leon: Naturally Fast Food with John Vincent.

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