Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Fava beans are really coming on now and persoanlly, they are one of my favorite things that we grow here. They are rich and buttery and have a terrific bright green color!

You will notice that the beans are well protected inside the pods (with a cotton like coating on the pod and a waxy covering on each individual bean). The covering slips off after boiling the beans for about a minute or two.

Ok- they are labor intensive, but the rewards are worth it!

Once you have freed the bean, the cooking possibilities are endless. Here are some ideas:

  • Simply saute in olive oil and garlic. Add chicken stock and grated cheese and add to pasta

  • After sauteing in garlic and olive oil, place the beans in a food processor. Add fresh mint, parmesan cheese and olive oil. This is a delicious spread for crostini or polenta squares

  • Puree the cooked beans with butter and cream!

  • They are delicious cooked with other spring vegetables like peas and artichoke hearts.

Here is a classic Italian recipe adapted from Marcella Hazan's book: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon finely chopped onion

1 slice pancetta, diced

1 pound unshelled favas, shelled and washed

Black Pepper

1/4 cup water

Sea salt

Cook onion in olive oil until translucent. Add pancetta and cook another 3 minutes. Stir in fava beans and black pepper. Add water and cook about 10-15 minutes. Larger beans will need longer cooking time. Cook until water is evaporated. Season with sea salt. Serve hot.

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