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Simple Fava Beans with Fresh Herbs

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Simple Fava Beans with Fresh Herbs

Breezing right over the obligatory Chianti reference… pairing fresh bright fava beans with the most synergistic flavors is a very lovely thing.

Fava beans are buttery, meaty, slightly bitter, and a bit of an acquired taste. The flavor of fava beans pairs nicely with herbs, particularly parsley, basil, thyme, or rosemary. Use whatever you have on hand, and add spring onion or scallions for a simple, yet fabulous, fava dish.

For a very fun read about fava bean history… it really is a fun article… click here. You can learn about fava bean connection to Jack and the Beanstalk, Pharaoh Rameses III, and Pythagoras.

A rose by any other name

Fava bean aliases: Windsor beans, English beans, horse beans and pigeon beans, and broad beans

Simple Fava Beans

To shell or not to shell

If you have access to very fresh, young fava beans, shelling is not mandatory. You can just open the pod and snack on the beans as-is. Delicious.

If the beans are not so fresh, the shell can be bitter and tough. There are simple ways to remove it. First, you have to shuck the beans. This is quick and easy. They come with their own little unseal string. Just pinch the end of the pod and pull that string out. The side opens right up and the beans pop right out.

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Beans, glorious beans!

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The traditional French way of removing skins is the quickest and easiest. Although. some modern chefs prefer a slower method of placing the beans into a pan with a little water, covering the pan and slow cooking. Some chefs feel that this method retains more flavor than the standard blanch and shock technique.

Blanch and Shock

Bring a pot of water to boil. Also have prepared a bowl of ice water.

Throw fava beans into boiling water and leave them there for 30 seconds.

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Using a strainer, quickly remove beans and throw them into ice water to stop the cooking process.

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Fava beans will now easily slip right out of their skins. Just pinch off the end and gently squeeze them out. People often shy away from fava beans because they feel this process is laborious. It really is not bad. If you do not have to do it every day, it is kind of fun.

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A simple dish

All you need is a bit of olive oil, spring onion, and fresh herbs to make a quick fresh bean dish.

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In a lightly oiled skillet on about a medium heat, gently soften sliced spring onion or scallions.

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When onion is tender, add fava beans. If they are fresh, you really only need to warm them through.

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At the end, throw in fresh herbs. I am using basil today. Mmmmm

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That’s it! They are ready to serve.

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Simple Fava Beans with Fresh Herbs

Use any fresh herb you have on hand! Fava beans pair well with parsley, rosemary, or thyme.

Ingredients:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1-2 spring onions or green onions (scallions)
  • skinned fava beans, about one cup (about 20 oz fava beans in their pods should yield a cup of beans)
  • 1 t fresh basil, very thinly sliced (or another herb)

Method

In a lightly oiled skillet on about a medium heat, gently soften sliced spring onion or scallions. Stir, when needed. When onion is tender, add fava beans. Stir as needed. If they are fresh, you really only need to warm them through. At the end, throw in fresh herbs.

Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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