The farmer’s markets have been featuring gorgeous fava beans the last few weeks. They are a bit time consuming to prepare, but since they are only in season a few weeks a year, it’s worth the extra effort!
- 2 lbs. fresh fava bean pods (yields about 1 1/2 C. prepared beans)
- salted, boiling water
- 1 T. fresh mint, chopped
- zest of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper
- 1 t. olive oil
First remove the beans from the outer pod by splitting the pods open with your fingers. Inside the pods you’ll find 4-5 beans.
The beans have a coating on them that also needs to be removed. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the beans in and boil for 1 minute only. Have a bowl of cold water ready. When one minute is up, quickly remove the beans from the boiling water and drop them into the cold water to stop the cooking. Drain. Now each bean covering needs to be removed. I do this by opening one end with my fingernail and then squeezing the bean out.
Once you get the hang of it this step goes quickly. Refrigerate the beans until ready to use. The pods and bean coverings can be discarded. You can add these to a salad, a pasta dish, or make a crostini topping like this: Combine the beans with the mint, lemon zest, salt and pepper, and olive oil. Use a fork to mash some of the beans very slightly. Spread on some toasted baguette slices and drizzle with a bit more olive oil.