I’ve been seeing fava beans at the market a lot lately – yes, fava beans in their giant pods, unshucked and unshelled. I posted about fava beans around this time last year. Then, I found the work involved in shucking and shelling the favas to be a turnoff. However, I’ve realized that preparing the favas is the perfect thing to do while listening to my favorite podcast or radio program.
Here’s my process. With my vintage 2005 iPod cranking, I put a pot of water on the stove while I shuck the beans (i.e. remove the beans from the pods). By the time I finish shucking, the water is boiling. I blanch the beans for one minute (or, when I’m making the recipe below, for five minutes), then plunge them into a bowl of ice water. Then I manually remove each bean from it’s shell. It’s actually kind of relaxing if you look at it as recreation as opposed to work.
I ended up with about a cup of shelled favas, which I pureed with avocado and spread on toast for breakfast, topped with pumpkin seeds (pepitas). This recipe is adapted from a recipe in Martha Rose Shulman’s book, Mediterranean Harvest.
Yield: Approximately 1.5 cups
For this recipe, you want the fava beans to be slightly cooked. Marsha recommends blanching the shucked/unshelled beans for 5 minutes (as opposed to 1 minute) for this effect.
1 cup shelled and slightly cooked fresh fava beans (blanch the unshelled beans for 5 minutes to achieve this effect)
1 ripe avocado (peeled, seed removed, obviously)
1 garlic clove, mashed with 1/4 teaspoon salt in a mortar and pestle
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (freshly ground if possible)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Add additional salt, lemon juice, and/or olive oil to taste.
Spread on toast and top with pepitas, or enjoy as a dip with chips or veggies.
If you don’t have fresh fava beans where you are, it would be fun to try this recipe with lima beans or edamame beans, which are available frozen.
Enjoy the spring!