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Fava Success

by Sherri Koehler on August 1, 2011

This year I’ve found success with all fava beans we’ve been delivered from Organics to You!

Last year I tried a couple of things with mixed success; mostly we found them kind of tough. The flavor had promise, but we were mixed on the texture. I even posted one of the more successful attempts, an Umbrian inspired dish that had great flavor, but tough beans.

This year I finally caught that there is a second peeling step I’d missed last year! Not sure ow I over looked this step and it does mean that preparing fresh favas is even more labor intensive. That said, they are so tasty and lovely it is entirely worth the effort.

Image by @Edsel Little used under Creative Commons License

Here’s the deal. You have to peel them out of the big pods first. Boil them for 4-5 minutes. Drain. Rinse well in cold water. Let sit for a few minutes. Peel off the tough, fibrous layer. Set aside tender, delicate favas to add to dishes.

The favas, once peeled out of the tough skins, are largely bright green, very delicate, and taste lovely. I have to chase Christie out of the kitchen or she’ll stand there peeling and eating them directly!

Since they’re already cooked and will fall apart if you cook them much further, I set them aside and toss into dishes right before serving just to warm them back up. This discovery has even caused me to revisit a spring soup made with pureed favas featured in the beautiful cookbook Christie gave me for Christmas, Kansha: Celebrating Japan’s Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions.

Mostly I’ve just tossed them into stir-fry dishes, where they are reminiscent of edamame, but with a greener taste and a delicate texture. I’ve also added them at the very end of rustic, northern Italian inspired dishes with fresh tomatoes, gnocchi, and summer squash. I suppose I could tackle more exciting dishes, but right now I’m just basking in the joy of figuring out how to make delicious things with produce I’ve only newly been introduced to.

The whole goal of The Produce Project was to get us to eat more fresh, seasonal vegetables. Here we are, going strong and still experimenting. The favas are a complete success story now that we’ve really figured it out. We hold out hope for the same success with the garlic spears (scarpes, scrapes, etc.). Chard… we finally asked that no more be brought to us and we won’t be growing it. Just not that much of a fan.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

John Murdock August 2, 2011 at 2:08 am

finally, I found a vegetarian recipe that using edamame. Hahha


sherri August 2, 2011 at 10:38 pm

These are actually fava beans, or broad beans, not edamame. Although you could easily use edamame in any recipes that use favas, the texture and flavor is pretty different.


Lori August 8, 2011 at 4:39 pm

The pods themselves are delicious! Don’t overlook them! I just take the whole pod, toss with some olive oil and sea salt, bake at 375 for 25 minutes and YUM! Still have to string them and squeeze the yummy fava bean out of the tough outer skin but we consider fava beans “finger food”!


sherri August 10, 2011 at 9:11 pm

So you don’t peel off the outer part of the bean, but roast them? Sounds like an interesting idea we’ll have to try too! Thanks for suggesting it.


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