Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fava beans

There are buckets of fava beans growing in the garden. When we found them I instantly remembered the pages of fava bean recipes in the pile. So I collected a bunch and vaguely remembered I might need some chives for the recipe, so I took some of that too.
The fava beans doing their thing.

The way to know if fava beans are ready is pretty simple. Look for large firm pods that are heavier than they look. I had to use pruners to harvest them because just ripping them off didn't work so well and pruners were the only tool I could find for the job. The next part is a little trickier. 
Don't they look so shiny and fresh?

Fava beans have a very thick pod that rivals a pillow top mattress. Then when you think you've got the bean out, your wrong. You have to blanch them and then submerge them in ice water. Then, the skins will slide right off and you have one of the tiniest beans for how much work you put in.

The recipes I have for fava beans come from Vegetarian Times.  It's more a list of suggestions really. The first suggestion I tried was for a crudites type dip. 

Steam the beans until tender; mash together with lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and cayenne pepper.  
 I am a huge fan of bitter foods, but this one was not pleasant at all. I do not recommend it.

The second suggestion I tried was:  
Simmer favas with peas, veggie stock, mint, and chives, and puree for a green soup.
This one turned out delicious! The peas with it really cuts down on the bitterness and the mint was a nice subtle addition. I used about equal amounts of favas and peas, a handful of chives, and 2 sprigs of mint. After I blended and tasted it, I decided it needed some salt. But I'll leave that up to you. I only used a half teaspoon. Another tasty way I found to enjoy it is adding some swirls of Tapatio in it.  Honestly, this recipe was more work than it was worth. Similar results could probably be had by just using peas and leaving out the favas entirely.

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