May 10, 2012

fava beans

Since it was our first time to sample fresh fava beans this spring, I thought about making a simple appetizer or starter that would highlight the flavor of the beans.

Peeling the beans was the most labor intensive part. Based on my research, after separating the beans from the pods, blanch them in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and allow to cool slightly. Remove the tough outer covering to release the more tender beans inside. Then return them to the pot and boil for about 5 more minutes or until the beans are tender.

separating the beans from the pods

fava beans, shown above, prior to cooking
For the simple appetizer, shown below, the pre-cooked fava beans were sauteed in a little olive oil and minced garlic for a few minutes until the beans are tender then sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese just before serving. I didn't overcook them so the texture was a pleasant mix of crisp and creamy. We enjoyed their fresh, mild, slightly bitter and nutty flavors. They may be sprinkled on green salads, added to pasta or mixed in with other vegetables. I've also seen them pureed for dips and used as a spread, like for this fava bean bruschetta idea.

a simple appetizer ~ sauteed fava beans

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