An Ode To… Habitas

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The humble broad bean has been elevated to dizzy gastronomic heights by the Spanish. As a child, gluts of them from my Dad’s garden would blight my summer, served the size of a large thumb with a thick, chewy outer, and bitter in the middle, with every single damn meal. Not in Spain, though. Here they are picked young – so young, that they don’t even need to be skinned – and added to onions and garlic sautéed in the fat of jamón. This summer we bought a tiny jar of baby habitas from El Corte Inglés for 12 euros and a packet of bellota ham off-cuts for another 9 euros and made the best starter we’ve arguably ever made. A staple tapas dish that can be elevated through the careful choice of fine ingredients. Most expensive jar of habitas spotted so far? 43 euros for a jar holding 410 grams!

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