Veggie Resolution #15: How to Prepare Fava Beans

Cooking / Eating In

Happy Monday, everyone!  How was your weekend? Mine was spent preparing for Hurricane Irene; despite being surrounded by an evacuation zone, the hurricane itself was a bit anti-climactic – just heavy rain. I guess I shouldn’t complain, huh?  Well, it’s back to another week!  Today, I’d like to share with you one of my favorite CSA vegetables – the luscious fava bean.

My first experience with fava beans was in the form of a Chinese snack – fried, salted, oily and indulgent, this delectable treat was in the realm of potato chips and pork rinds; major deliciousness!  It wasn’t until years later that I first tasted my fresh fava bean, and the love was equally as fervent.  Preparing fresh favas requires a bit of work on your part, but the results are well worth it!

1. First, you need to remove the beans from the pods (first picture).  Snap the end off one end of the pod, and pull the string down the “spine” of the pod.  From there, you will be able to dig the beans out.

2. Boil a large pot of salted water.   Once water is boiling, add the favas and cook one minute.

3. Drain fava beans and then cool them in an ice bath for 5ish minutes. This prevents overcooking and mushiness, as well as makes the skin easier to remove from the beans.

4. Now you’ve got the blanched, cooled fava beans.  It’s time to shell them again!  Using your nail, break through the white, waxy skin and push the bright green bean out.

Here you see the bright green shelled beans, compared to the unshelled ones.

And you’re done! Now you have the shelled, prepared fava beans ready to eat.  They are tender, flavorful and full of summer flavor.  You can add these beans to salads, risotto and other dishes – in fact, I’ll be posting scrumptious risotto and salad recipes very soon – stay tuned!

Have you had fava beans before? What’s your favorite way to eat them?

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Jane
    August 29, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    The best way I’ve had fava beans was mixed into a pesto. It gave it an almost hummus like texture.

    • Reply
      Serena
      August 29, 2011 at 11:44 pm

      Yum, I’ve never tried this before! Sounds great!

  • Reply
    Dawn {The Alternative Wife}
    August 29, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Must give this a try! Love fava beans but I’ve never made them myself…

    Glad you made out ok with the storm. It’s so gorgeous out today!

  • Reply
    Kim
    August 29, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Love fava beans! I had no idea that they were so much work to prepare, but the results look delicious. I was glad to hear that NYC survived the hurricane 🙂

  • Reply
    Heather
    August 29, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Never had these before, but they sound tasty! I’ll add them to my list of foods to try.

  • Reply
    Mina
    August 29, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    love fava beans. my husband actually participates in the “ritual” of peeling them twice–maybe that’s why i don’t mind cooking them!

    • Reply
      Serena
      August 29, 2011 at 11:44 pm

      Ha, nice!

  • Reply
    gloria
    August 29, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Dear I remember you when talk about the hurricane Im glad you are OK and safe!! gloria

  • Reply
    Tabitha
    August 29, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Ooh- I’ve never really known how to prepare Fava beans, so thank you- hugely helpful! Can’t wait to try preparing some!

    • Reply
      Serena
      August 29, 2011 at 11:45 pm

      You’re welcome! Good luck! 🙂

  • Reply
    Mandy
    August 29, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    I keep seeing these at the farmer’s market but I’ve been too intimidated by the pod since I’ve never seen them prepared before. I’ve also never tried one! I’ll have to give it a shot when I go to the market next week.

    • Reply
      Serena
      August 29, 2011 at 11:46 pm

      Good luck – let me know how it goes!

  • Reply
    Mo
    August 29, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Glad Irene was just heavy rain!
    Fava beans always remind of Silence of the Lambs but these look more cute than scary. 🙂

  • Reply
    Annie
    August 29, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I’ve never had these before! Theyblook delicious!

  • Reply
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist
    August 29, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Your photos are beautiful!!

    • Reply
      Serena
      August 29, 2011 at 11:46 pm

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    Geek in Heels
    August 29, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    I could never eat fava beans after watching the movie “Silence of the Lambs” (although I have to wonder if fava beans *do* taste good with liver and chianti!).

    • Reply
      Serena
      August 29, 2011 at 11:46 pm

      Ha – I’m always reminded of that movie as well!

  • Reply
    Amy
    August 29, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    I had no idea these were the chinese fried beans. LOVE those. I will try them fresh as well!

  • Reply
    Jill
    August 29, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Mmm I will look forward to your risotto recipe. I’m always looking for new things to put in risotto!

  • Reply
    honeymyheart
    August 30, 2011 at 2:25 am

    i’ve never had fava beans, but those look like a good snack to eat or something to add to a salad 🙂

    glad you weathered the storm alright.

  • Reply
    Julia
    September 4, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Question…do you lose fiber or nutritional value when removing the bean’s skin?

  • Reply
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