What’s the first thing you think of when you hear…fava beans?
“I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.” from the 1991 movie, The Silence of the Lamb? Not me.
I think of this recipe that my mom would make and I begin to crave them!
Fava beans are a type of broad bean and grow on large shrubs. About a week ago I had spied these bushes on a local road side farm and the craving began.
In the past, I have grown fava beans in my garden. They grow easily during the winter and the pods are ready for picking in the spring.
In this recipe I started with 3 pounds of fava bean pods.
Then you need to remove the beans from the pods. I do this by tearing the pod strings from the top much like shelling peas.
The fava beans are nestled in this velvet lined pod!
3 pounds of bean pods sounds like a lot for 4 servings but when your done shelling the actual fava beans amounts to about 3 cups.
At this point the fava beans have a hard waxy covering that is not edible.
To remove this I drop them into boiling water and boil the beans for 3 minutes.
This partially cooks the fava bean.
After 3 mintues I place the beans into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
At this point I remove the waxy cover. Sometimes the covering is split and the bean pops out when squeezed. Or I use a small paring knife to nick the waxy covering and squeeze the bright green fava bean out.
Now the fava beans are ready to use in any recipe. Here’s the way my mom would fix them.
Needed: 1 can (15 oz. stewed tomatoes), 1 onion, chopped, 6 slices bacon, chopped, 2 cloves of garlic, chopped, pepper to taste.
Saute the chopped bacon on medium heat until it renders some fat, about 5 minutes.
Add the chopped onion and garlic and saute for 5-6 more minutes.
Add the can of stewed tomatoes and the fava beans and cook uncovered for 20 minutes or until the fava beans are cooked through.
This recipe can be eaten as a side dish for meats…
or alone as a light meal…
or served over spaghetti…
…with a nice Chianti!
P.S. Big thanks to Angela for her creative fava bean photography!