Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Fava beans are my favorite vegetable. I'm not sure if it's because they are a fleeting seasonal treat, only available a few months each spring or because shucking them takes so much time that it is almost a Zen-like experience. Maybe it's because they are high in fiber and iron and low in sodium and fat. It could be the buttery texture and lovely nutty taste. I actually think it's all of the above.

If you have never had favas give them a try. Allow plenty of time, in fact gather some friends and have a fava shucking party or do it yourself and you will understand the Zen factor. Preparing the favas to cook is very time consuming but well worth the effort.

This is how they look fresh.

You peel these open and pull out the beans inside. Here is a peek inside.

When you have shelled all the beans and have a pile of green gold......

You go to the next step, put them in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. This softens the outer waxy coating so you can easily slip it off.

When the skins start to look a little white quickly put them in ice water to stop the cooking process and keep the vibrant green color. Just put them in there for a few minutes, then drain and dry.

Now you gently open one end of the skin and you can peel or pop the bean out. They will look like this.

At this point you can eat them as is or warm them in some olive oil, sprinkle with salt and serve.

As I mentioned earlier, this really is worth the effort.

As I was taking pictures for this post I noticed something very odd.........the color of the water after I blanched these very GREEN beans.

I was bright red! If anyone knows how this happened please comment below.

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