fava beans

Every week at the (Kirkland) farmer’s market, I’ve been scouring the place for fava beans. I finally was rewarded last week. I love making dips and pesto with fava beans, but my very favorite way to make them (and eat them) is sauteed in a little olive oil. I did a quick search for fava beans recipes before making them this time, but found surprisingly little. So, here’s what I do (the amounts depend on how many fava beans you have, so it’s best to just use whatever amount you think is best):

  1. Buy A LOT of fava beans.
  2. More than that. (Fava beans are similar to spinach in that 8 cups turns into about 3 tablespoons once you’re done.)
  3. Shell beans, much like you might do with peas.
  4. Blanch for about 2 minutes in boiling water.
  5. Drain and let cool a little. Then, slip them out of their skins. You normally can just squeeze them a little to do this, although you might need to tear a little hole in the skin first.
  6. In a pan, put a bit of olive oil, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes. After about 30 seconds on the heat, add the fava beans and a bit of salt and pepper. Saute for maybe 5 minutes until the beans soften a little.
  7. Toast up some pine nuts; or if you’re lazy, just add them in with the beans and hope they toast a little as things cook.
  8. Take the beans off the heat and add the pine nuts, then grate a bit of parmesan cheese over everything. Add a bit of sea salt if you want.
  9. Enjoy.

This seems like a bit of work, but I find the shelling sort of relaxing, oddly. For 8 cups of beans, I probably use 3 cloves of garlic, 1 tsp of red pepper flakes, and 4 tablespoons of pine nuts. That probably serves 2-3 people as a side dish, although I could eat the entire thing myself.