Thursday, May 22, 2014

Fava Beans: Why Cooks should Love them as much as Gardeners Do!

[Organic] Gardeners love fava beans as cover crop.  They are great for the winter: they grow easily, have pretty flowers, and add nitrogen to the soil.  Plus, you can eat them.  What's not to love?

Ok, ok.  I know they are a lot of work in the kitchen.  It's two steps.  Or three!  

But with a kitchen full of helpers, it is easy to make quick work of this delicacy.  And I call it a delicacy because they are so much work that you won't do it many times per year.  BUT-- try it!  

These two little bowls were two half-full clear plastic grocery produce bags' worth of fava beans.  It took me, a toddler, a preschooler, and a friend less than an hour to make this (and the friend wasn't there the whole time).  Plus we ate some and it was good fun.


Fava Beans (bigger are easier)
a bit of cooking oil (butter, lard, coconut oil)
a bit of olive oil
ice water with ice in a bowl


Shuck the fava beans and discard the outer shells.  Blanch them (throw them in boiling water for three minutes).  Immediately put them into an ice water bath with plenty of ice.

Then take them and shuck off the inner layer.  Yes, there is another layer to remove.  It is fairly thin, and the beans pop out easily after they are blanched.

Heat the cooking oil in a cast iron skillet.  When it is hot, add the fava beans until just browned, about 1 minute.  Remove and add olive oil and sea salt.

You can eat these plain, or put them into a sauce (like tomato), or another dish. Enjoy!

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