It shouldn’t be too late to enjoy fresh fava beans while they’re still in season…
I have a shameful confession. Before this featured batch of beautiful fresh fava beans, I had never tasted fava beans, let alone having the pleasure of shelling them. Seriously. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but that’s the sort of thing that should be confessed in a
blog journal, right?
The beans require first removing them from the pod, where there could be anywhere between 3-8 favas within a pod. Secondly, parboiling for about a minute to loosen the exterior skin and then popping the precious bean out of its casing.
Fava beans are also referred to and known as broad bean, faba bean, field bean, bell bean, and Vicia faba. These ancient beans are used in recipes from a wide range of cultures, ranging from Italy, Egypt, India and China (to name a few).
According to Melissa’s Produce:
“Fava beans, originally from Egypt, grow in plump green pods. When the beans are very young and tender, they may be eaten whole. However, after removing them from the pod, the Fava Beans’ are usually peeled to avoid any bitterness occasionally caused by the skin. The beans themselves are green and have an earthy flavor. Fava Beans are a wonderful addition to any meal. Serve as a hot or cold appetizer, as a side dish sautéed in butter, or in soups.
Fava Beans contain no cholesterol, have no fat and are low in sodium and calories. They are a good source of carbohydrates, fiber, protein, iron, vitamins A, B and C, and potassium.”
Fava Beans also have high concentrations of L-dopa (aka dopamine). Dopamine is an amino acid that is a neurotransmitter in the brain and assists in important activities we rely in like memory, energy and libido.
Selecting: Find pods that are firm and with little markings.
Storage: Store pods in a plastic bag within the crisper section of your refrigerator. They should keep for a week when properly stored. Have an abundance of fresh fava beans? Prepare them for freezing for use later (instead of buying frozen when they’re not in season)!
Availability varies in California and tend to more attainable from February through May.
- Grilling – keep them in the pod and grill!
- Roast them!
- Quick fry or sauté fresh fava beans in extra-virgin olive oil with a sprinkle of coarse salt and toss in some herbs.
- Add to fresh spring salads, risottos, soups and stews.
- Use on a crostini paired with complimentary flavors (and a good wine!).
My next post is about something quick, tasty and sharing how I’ve incorporated these favas in what can be termed as either a healthful quick snack, appetizer or side dish!
A special thank you to Melissa’s Produce for generously sharing a sampling of these beautiful fresh fava beans to feature and share with readers on Teenie Cakes. I was not monetarily compensated for featuring this produce and the opinions and writing are my own.