• Crushed broad beans with yoghurt, chervil and charred bread (China Squirrel)Source: China Squirrel

This is a delightful starter, almost a salad but really a dippy thing. The spices give it a hint of the Middle East. Be warned: this is garlicky, but the yoghurt tempers its heat.






Skill level

Average: 3.2 (9 votes)


  • 10 medium garlic cloves
  • 150 ml delicate extra virgin oil
  • 1½ tsp cumin seeds, roasted
  • 1 tsp river salt
  • 200 g thick yoghurt
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 185 g (1 cup) double-peeled broad beans (about 700 g unpodded, see Cook’s tip)
  • ¼ cup chives, cut into 2 cm batons
  • 2 tsp nigella seeds
  • ½ cup chervil, picked with some stem left on
  • 8 slices sourdough baguette, cut on a diagonal about 12 cm long

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place 8 garlic cloves in a very small saucepan and cover with the olive oil. Place over a high heat until the oil starts to bubble, then turn down to very low and gently cook the garlic until it softens completely, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Place the remaining raw garlic into a mortar and pestle with the cumin and salt and pound to a paste. Scoop this into a mixing bowl with the yoghurt. Mix it together and season with lemon juice. Set aside.

Once the garlic in oil has cooled, scoop out the cloves and 60 ml (1/4 cup) of the oil and place in a separate mixing bowl. Add the broad beans. Use a fork to gently mash it all together until the broad beans are half crushed. Season with salt, then stir through the chives.

Brush your bread with some of the remaining garlic oil and char well on both sides.

Spread your yoghurt mix onto a large plate, then spoon the broad beans over the top, making sure to leave a rim of yoghurt visible. Drizzle with a little more of the garlic oil and season with some extra salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the nigella seeds and garnish with the chervil.

Serve to your friends with the bread piled high on the side. Use your hands to tear, scoop and dip.


Cook’s tips

• To prepare the broad beans, peel them from their thick outer pods. Blanch the beans in boiling water, then refresh in iced water. Peel the outer skins. 800 g whole broad beans yields about 200 g (1 packed cup) double-peeled broad beans.

• Any remaining garlic oil can be used in salad dressings or for cooking - it’s a handy thing to have around.


Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Tiffany Page.

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This recipe is part of The seasonal cook: Broad beans column.

View previous The seasonal cook columns and recipes.