Habas rehogadas or sauteed broad beans are representative of the wide variety of vegetable dishes and tapas, part of the wonderful Mediterranean diet.
In this recipe good quality plump vegetables are very simply cooked, only sauteed in some oil and garnished with onion, a dusting of the ubiquitous pimentón and maybe some Serrano ham. And I like mine with a wedge of hard-boiled egg.
A member of the legume family, broad beans are grown almost everywhere in Spain. Fresh broad beans are mostly available in Spring and they should be podded unless they’re very young and tender.
But in Spain they can be found deep-frozen and canned as well, so that they can be enjoyed all year long. Some prefer to double pod the beans, getting rid of the skin that surrounds each bean individually. But I tell you: it’s quite a time-consuming task!
- 0.5 pounds/250g podded broad beans, fresh, frozen or canned
- ½ onion, diced
- ¼ tsp sweet pimentón
- ½ cup water
- Virgin olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Hard-boiled eggs, optional
- Cover the bottom of a skillet with virgin olive oil and heat to low.
- Transfer the diced onion to the skillet and stir-fry on low heat until wilted.
- Then add the pimentón and stir-fry briefly, only a couple of minutes because pimentón turns bitter when too toasted.
- Add the broad beans, the water and the salt. Cook for 15-20 minutes or as long as needed until the beans are tender.
- Serve hot or cold.
Tips for perfect habas rehogadas or sauteed broad beans
- Good quality broad beans is paramount in such simple fare. Use the best you can find.
- Frozen beans are usable, at least in Spain, but have little to do with the real thing, the fresh, juicy, broad beans straight from the pod. On the contrary, canned broad beans preserved in oil can be of superb quality.
- We strongly advise to use a good quality Spanish virgin olive oil if you can get hold of it. The beans should not be too oily, but the oil flavor will be apparent.
- For a real Spanish flavor use authentic sweet pimentón, the dried and smoked red pepper powder that stars in so many tapas.
Accompany habas rehogadas or sauteed broad beans with some chunks of dense-crumbed bread for dunking in the sauce. And remember, after all, besides being vegetarian and vegan (if you skip the eggs) this tapa is very healthy, Mediterranean diet at its best.