How to cook with ‘in season’ peas and beans

In season until late July, fresh peas and beans add colour, flavour and texture to any summer dish. Here’s the lowdown…

By Grace Allen, 05 June 2017
How to cook with ‘in season’ peas and beans

Get your greens in with these speedy and tasty recipes that embrace the humble (and seasonal) bean...


The word ‘mangetout’ comes from the French for ‘eat all’. As the name suggests, this sweet, crisp vegetable is eaten pod and all – the peas inside are tiny. It should only be cooked very briefly to retain its bite. 

Recipe inspiration

Mangetout is a great choice for Asian dishes.
1. In a hurry? Steam for 2 mins then drizzle with French dressing for an easy and elegant side dish.

2. Make a chicken salad pop with sliced mangetout. 

Broad Beans 

Rich and creamy, broad beans can be eaten hot or cold. Remove from the tough outer pod, then steam or boil for 3 mins. Eat as is, or ‘double-pod’ – pop each bean out of its skin for a more tender texture and bright green colour.

Recipe inspiration

1. Double-pod broad beans and mix with ricotta, fresh mint and a little lemon juice for a summery bruschetta topping.

2. Try this Italian-style broth – a meal in a bowl bursting with fresh flavours. 

French Beans 

Also known as green or string beans, these long, thin legumes have a firm texture and a fresh flavour. Trim the pointed ends, then cook, pods and all, whole or cut into shorter lengths. For maximum crunch, steam for 2-3 mins.

Recipe inspiration

1.  Serve with chopped hazelnuts and a squeeze of orange. Or add bite to a curry by throwing some beans in at the last minute.

2. This aromatic, easy-to-cook side dish is inspired by Middle Eastern cuisine.

Garden Peas

Versatile and sweet with a thin shell and soft, firm texture, it’s no wonder garden peas are a family favourite. Pop seasonal fresh peas from the pod, then boil or steam for 2-3 mins. Or pick frozen peas as a delicious and convenient year-round alternative.

Recipe inspiration

1. Steam and add to a salad – great with a lemon dressing; mix into salmon fishcakes; or crush slightly to top toasted flatbreads.     

2. The humble pea goes gourmet in this vibrant soup – the perfect starter. 

Sugarsnap Peas 

Sugarsnap by name and sweet by nature, these are eaten unpodded, either whole or sliced, and are equally delicious raw or lightly cooked. Why not throw a handful or two into your lunchbox to nibble on as an easy way towards your 5-a-day.

Recipe inspiration

1. Slice finely and add to a classic coleslaw – great served with sticky ribs.

2. Tuck into our quick-to-cook stir-fry – the fresh sweetness of sugarsnaps contrasts with rich, tender lamb and smoky peppers.

Runner Beans 

Long and flat, these have a firm texture and an exceptionally fresh flavour. The pods and the beans are eaten – before cooking, trim the ends and remove the tough ‘strings’ that run down the sides. Slice lengthways, or cut across into pieces, then boil or steam for 4-5 mins.

Recipe inspiration

1. Serve steamed, with a handful of pine nuts and a twist of lemon, or with a knob of shallot butter. 

2. Cooked runners cut into chunks make our next-level mac ’n’ cheese even more incredible!

If you fancy trying any of these recipes, stock up on what you need at Asda or pop into your local store