How to Clean and Prepare Fava Beans

Go ahead and make your jokes about fava beans and a nice Chianti. There’s no denying that these fresh, meaty beans are delicious, and they are in season right now, so grab them up!
Most Americans aren’t familiar with fava beans, so we hope this post will make them seem less mysterious and cause more people to give them a try. It takes a lot of bean pods to produce enough fava beans per serving, so plan on buying one pound bean pods per person. Select pods that are green and somewhat smooth. If the beans are over-bulging underneath the pods, that means they are older and likely to be bitter.
Note: fava beans (also called broad beans and pigeon beans) are high in tyramine, and shouldn’t be eaten by people who take MAO inhibitors (e.g. antidepressants.)
Pull off the top and “unzip” the seam of the bean pod.
Open the pod and remove the beans. There are usually 4 to 5 beans per pod.
The beans have a waxy outer coating, which you’ll need to remove. Blanch them in boiling water for 30 seconds, and then transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. The waxy coating will slip right off.
Ta-da! The finished beans are now ready for most recipes.
From here, you can steam them till tender, and toss them in a mixture of salt, olive oil, and lemon juice. Or you can mash them and spread them on bruschetta, or fold them into mashed potatoes. They’re also a great addition to a green salad, a risotto dish, or pasta.

This entry was posted in Fava Beans. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to How to Clean and Prepare Fava Beans

  1. I followed these instructions exactly, and my favas turned out perfectly. After they were blanched, they were the perfect texture for a salad and so delicious. Thank you for the helpful instructions. Caveat- it was a bit of a long process to prepare the favas, but it was fun.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s