Fava Beans. They seem to be at every farmer's market these days and in everyone's weekly CSA allocations. But what exactly do you do with them? They may not be the prettiest of all the beans when picked, but they are packed with nutrients and are quite delicious.
The easiest way to prepare them is on the grill. For a great video on how to do just that, click here. Today, I added them to my homemade pasta. It was a filling meal and for those who are vegetarian, they are a perfect protein addition to a pasta dish.
Fava beans are quite versatile. If you have an abundance, call a friend, and gather in the kitchen, or the front porch, whichever suits you best. Remove the beans from their pod, by 'shelling' them, like you would a pea. You can eat them as is, but it's best to remove the outer cover. Do this by blanching them for just a few minutes, then rinsing with cold water in a colander or dropping the beans in an ice bath to stop the cooking.
Once they are cool enough to handle, they can be slipped from their outer covering. Check out the photo above. Left to right: in the pod, the opened pod, what they look like once they are blanched, then finally, in the most edible form when the outer covering is removed. At this point, you can store them in a sealed jar in the refrigerator and use through the week or freeze them in zippered bags. These beans can be used in almost anything.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- Saute with a little garlic and olive oil -you'll probably eat them straight out of the pan. Or add them to cooked pasta with a shaving of Parmigiano and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
- Serve with grilled chicken, (after you saute them and not eat them all).
- Add them to your salads, they go great with fresh spring greens, pea shoots, a handful of feta and sliced radishes. Top with a drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- Add to your Asian noodles with ginger, garlic, chili paste and just a touch of fish sauce, just a touch!
Cooked with smashed garlic, olive oil, and a little salt and pepper! Put this on top of your grilled chicken.