Fresh Fava Beans

  • boiling water
  • salt
  • ice
  • tap water
  • 2 lbs fresh fava beans, in the pod (yields about 1 1/2 to 2 cups shelled beans)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, to taste
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

First, shell the beans from the fava pods (I found it’s sometimes easier – especially if you’re new to fava beans – to open the pods when you run the edge of a knife along the seam, cutting away the tough edge so that the pod halves come apart).

In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil, then add salt – the amount depends on how much water you have, but it should be very salty, like seawater.

In a bowl, combine ice and tap water to make ice water; set aside.

Add the shelled beans to the boiling water and let cook for about 3 minutes, then remove from saucepan and immediately plunge into the ice water to halt the cooking.

Let the beans cool, then peel the outer skin from each of them.

Over medium heat in a skillet, melt together the butter and olive oil, then add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.

Add the peeled fava beans and sauté for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until they are done to your preference.

Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, serve, and enjoy!

Note: in choosing your fava beans, get the pods that are firm and fresh looking

Note 2: once you’ve made these basic fava beans, you can add other delicious items such as caramelized onions or fennel, chunky fresh tomatoes, and/or a bit of chopped prosciutto.

Note 3: Fava beans can be frozen by blanching them for 1 minute, then freeze them in a single layer on a sheet in the freezer before putting them into bags; great bright green color and no mushiness in texture; thaw, peel, and use as usual.

 

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