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?