You know it’s the peak of spring when fava beans are abundant. One of the most celebrated ingredients of its season, fava beans are favored for their fresh, meaty texture and rich, buttery flavor. Chefs love featuring them on their springtime menus. Home cooks love eating them as a delectable springtime treat. Although they’re quite trendy in the culinary world, there are still many people who aren’t familiar with this particular variety of bean. Also called broad beans, fava beans require a little extra work to prepare but believe us, the effort and time is well worth the delicious results yielded!
What to look for: When selecting your fava beans, choose the ones that are vibrantly green and smooth. The pod should feel firm and look filled out throughout its entire length. You’ll want to avoid any beans that appear to be bulging from their pods. That means that the beans are more mature and may taste somewhat bitter. Please note that fava beans require more bean pods than other varieties of beans to provide a single serving to a person. Be prepared to purchase one pound of bean pods per person, which will give you roughly around 1/3 of a cup per serving.
Storage and Prep: Though this spring vegetable stands out from other bean varieties in flavor and texture, they do require a little more work in the preparation process. In contrast to other beans such as sugar snap peas, you’ll have to peel them twice in most instances, unless the beans were picked very young. Begin by snapping off the top of the pod and peeling away the tough stem that runs along the side. Then, use your thumbs to unzip the pod and open it up. This will reveal about 4 to 5 beans per pod. Remove the beans and this is where the second part of removal comes in. The beans will have an outer waxy coating that can be quite bitter if not removed. You may blanch them for 30 seconds in boiling water and then transfer them to an ice bath. Then, simply pinch the beans on one end and slip them off from their coating. Now the fava beans are ready to use.
Fava beans should be stored in the refrigerator still in their pods. They will stay fresh for up to a week. Keep them in a sealed plastic bag and only shell them when you’re ready to cook with them.
Uses and Recipes: When it comes to fava beans, it’s best to keep things simple. The spring flavors of fava beans shine beautifully in salads, pastas, soups and even dips. They can be used as a wonderful side dish or appetizer. Pair them with other fresh spring essentials such as asparagus, lemons and artichokes. You also also enjoy them raw alongside a good cheese such as pecorino or feta. Here are some of our favorite recipes and tips for enjoying this springtime treasure.
There’s nothing boring in this ultimate spring vegetable platter. Stacked full of spring essentials such as crisp asparagus, earthy Morel mushrooms and fresh fava beans, this dish sautéed with shallots and garlic and finished off with a generous sprinkle of fragrant chevril.
Transform any basic carrot salad into an extraordinary one by tossing fresh organic carrots with fava beans. A little sweet and a little spicy, this Mexican-inspired salad gets its other flavors from organic tomatoes and jalapeño chiles makes the perfect side dish or cold appetizer.
If you find yourself too busy to peel and cook your fava beans, then our Peeled and Steamed Fava Beans are a worthy substitute. These beans are already cooked and ready t0 eat right out of the bag or can be used in various recipes. Add them to a simple vegetable sauté or salad or fry them over high heat and eat as a simple snack.
A classic favorite with a fresh spring twist! No matter the season, everyone could use a little tomato soup in their dinner repertoire. And this is no ordinary tomato soup. Yukon Gold Potatoes give this soup a buttery richness while crisp, sweet corn and our Peeled and Steamed Fava Beans adds a pleasant crunchy texture in between sips.
Warmer weather means it’s outdoor grilling season again. If you’re looking to fire up the grill but keep things light and healthy, then give our salad with smokey grilled shrimp, fava beans and roasted baby parsnips a try. To save on time, we’ve use our Peeled and Steamed Fava Beans in this recipe.
What are your thoughts on Fava beans? Have you ever tried them before? What are your favorite fava bean recipes?