Fava Bean Fantasia

These fabulously fuzzy favas are fun to play with, perhaps even more fun to cook than they are to eat.  I like to slit their long pods neatly, pop out the beans, then stroke the fuzzy pod linings.  Just two minutes in boiling water for the inner bean and the fun begins again, as one by one I slit the tough skins protecting the beans to reveal their tender emerald essence.  I get all green under the fingernails in the process, and it’s a satisfyingly silly amount of work, yielding only about one cup of edible bean per kilo of pods and debris.  Fava season makes me wish we had a compost heap.

I had thought that many people shared my fava fondling fetish, but a French friend confided that she buys them frozen and already peeled, while an English friend said she just boils and eats them with the tough inner skin still on.  Wowsers.

These particular favas lent themselves to a simple salad, stirred together with a bit of crème fraîche, spring onions, and basil and mint from my new herb garden.

Tumbled over a frittata they were mellow and springlike, leftover on crackers they made for a virtuous aperitif.  If you’ve had Fear of Favas, get some to play with.  And don’t forget to pet the pods.

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Explore posts in the same categories: At Home In France, Posts Containing Recipes

7 Comments on “Fava Bean Fantasia”

  1. Kevin Says:

    I roast them whole with some olive oil and coarse salt. The young, tender beans can be eaten whole–not just the inner skin, but also the pod! You have to search out the small, soft and fuzzy ones, though, or you’ll end up chewing on something quite fibrous–but still tasty! The inspiration for this treatment came from A16 in San Francisco, where they roast them in their wood oven.

  2. Ray Says:

    very cute!

  3. Abra Says:

    Holy smokes, roast them in the pod? That’s radical! I’ll have to try it. Time and temp?

  4. Lauren Says:

    I find peeling favas very therapeutic. I can’t wait for them to come on over here.

  5. Rebecca263 Says:

    Favas! I adore them stuffed into a lamb- they are one bean that really holds up well to the flavor of lambs.

  6. Della Says:

    I’ve never cooked fresh favas before but your post has made me want to try it! I’m going to give them a whirl and try them 🙂

  7. Shaya Says:

    I love favas too! I know what you mean about the fuzzy lining, there’s something about it… My grandmother always simmered them in a chicken soup with tomatoes, but she didn’t peel them at all; just cut each pod into inch-long pieces, outer shell, inner shell, you name it. It used to drive me nuts! These are the tales that lead one to learn to cook for oneself.

    I must try the roasted method, never would have thought of it.


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