One of the things I love most about summer holidays abroad is the opportunity to try out lots of local dishes. Sadly we’re not going overseas this year. But that’s OK. Instead we’re heading up to Durham and Northumberland next week and while the North East might not be renowned for its cuisine – although saying that, I am extremely fond of that Geordie favourite, stottie cake with ham and peasepudding – I know we’re going to have huge amounts of fun exploring all the castles, beaches and Roman remains along Hadrian’s Wall.
So while we might not enjoy guaranteed sunshine on this year’s summer getaway (my fingers are firmly crossed nevertheless), we have been enjoying a taste of the continent right here at home. Think of Spain and I think of tapas, and this habas con jamon has to be one of the tastiest tapa on the menu.
The recipe has been developed by Jo Pratt for James Villa Holidays and is her take on the traditional dish from Almeria featuring Spanish broad beans, Serrano ham, and a generous quantity of garlic and fresh mint. It’s ideal served alongside an assortment of tapas dishes, all washed down with a glass of ice cold cerveza, but honestly I’d be quite content with one big bowl of these very moreish beans. Yep, I can see myself making this dish again and again.
Habas con jamon
1.5kg fresh broad beans, shelled
4 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
100g sliced Serrano ham, torn into small strips
Small glass of dry white wine
Small handful mint, roughly chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the broad beans for 1-2 minutes until just tender. Drain and refresh under cold water. Once they are cool enough, remove the outer skins, revealing the bright green beans inside.
Pour the oil into a large frying pan and place over a low-medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and gently cook for about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned. Add the ham and cook gently for another 1-2 minutes.
Increase the heat to high and add the wine. Bring to the boil and cook until it has reduced by about half. Add the beans, reduce the heat to low and cook for 1 minute to completely heat through before seasoning with pepper (you probably won’t need any salt as the ham can be quite salty enough), and then stir in the mint.
Serve straight away with bread, olives and other tapas of your choice.
Watch Jo Pratt cook this dish:
Disclosure: James Villa Holidays provided me with complimentary ingredients in order to test this recipe on my family. No money exchanged hands and all opinions are my own.