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How to Cook Fava Beans

In Season: Fava Beans

One sure sign that Summer is nearing is the appearance of fava beans, also known as broad beans, at local farmers markets. These light green beans, which almost look like an oversized version of edamame, are prized for their buttery, nutty flavor. They're also high in fiber, iron, and protein; low in sodium, fat, and cholesterol; and one of the easiest vegetables to grow. They are an early harvest vegetable, with roots in the Mediterranean that date back as far as biblical times. If you can get past their labor-intensive preparation, these creamy beans have the potential to become a regular at the table. Broad beans, demystified, when you keep reading.

These members of the pea family are at peak season now to July. Select firm, heavy pods that are free of markings and not too bumpy. Store them in a plastic bag in the crisper for up to a week. The most common way to prepare fava beans is to shuck the beans from the pod, blanch them, and peel the outer shell, revealing a bright-green, cooked bean. If the beans are young and tender, they can be grilled and eaten whole, too. Also:

Have you ever tried favas at a restaurant or prepared them at home? How did you enjoy them?

Source: Flickr Users twohelmetscooking and Robert Couse-Baker

Join The Conversation
cotedazur cotedazur 7 years
I just made a fava bean side dish last week - sautéed an onion and garlic in butter until soft, added the fava beans and a few spoonfuls of water, let them cook for about 15 minutes, and topped with bacon. It was delicious, but I'm definitely looking forward to making the pecorino salad next time!
zeze zeze 7 years
Labor intensive?! My mom makes these as often as possible when they are in season, all she does is drop them (while still IN the pods) in a big pot of water and boils them. You serve them in the pods, some people will lightly salt them and eat even the pod, I personally open up the pod and pop/squeeze (they get soo buttery and smushy) them out of their shells right into my mouth. The shells are super thin too, so you can even eat the whole bean. And my mom makes this amazing dill rice using the frozen variety!
chiefdishwasher chiefdishwasher 7 years
My thoughts exactly....has any one seen Clarice?
Soniabonya Soniabonya 7 years
LMAO. Evil Cake Overlord, that is the first thought that came to mind! Oh, just got an idea for movie night :) bwa ha ha.
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