Ah, fava beans. The work-to-reward ratio of dealing with these suckers is enough to make a grown woman cry. And yet, every spring, fava bean recipes pop up everywhere, a testament to their delicious, tender, irresistible nature. I urge you to prepare them at least once — if you decide in the end that it wasn’t worth it, at least you tried something new!
Today, I started with two pounds of in-shell fava beans, and ended up with less than a cup of beans once they were shelled, blanched, and peeled. The blanching/shelling/peeling process took about 20 minutes. You could, perhaps, stretch your fava beans by adding them to a corn and bean salad, risotto, or other dish. Or you could keep them all to yourself, saute them in garlic and olive oil, then devour the whole plate for lunch. I wouldn’t possibly presume to tell you what to do.
How to Prepare Fava Beans for Cooking
2 lbs. fava beans, in shell
1. Put a pot of water on the stove to boil, and prepare an ice bath nearby.
2. Peel the fava beans out of their shells — you’ll end up with about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of beans at this point.
3. Blanch the beans in the boiling water for about 3 minutes, then scoop out with a slotted spoon or mesh strainer, directly into the ice bath.
4. Let cool in the ice bath for a few minutes, then drain and peel. Yields 3/4 to 1 cup of beans.
Fava Beans with Toasted Garlic
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 C. shelled, blanched and peeled fava beans
salt and pepper to taste
1. Put the olive oil and garlic in a cold 8″ skillet, and cook over medium-low heat until the garlic is toasty and golden brown.
2. Add the fava beans, salt, and pepper to the skillet and turn up to medium heat. Saute for about three minutes, flipping or stirring often.