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« Poulet, Chicken, Pollo | Main | rhubarb ginger strawberry surprise... »

23 May 2006


I grew up on broad beans (as we Brits call favas). I really thought they were one of the most heinous vegetables on earth and even though my parents grew them in our allottment, the result was a sorry state of affairs, born of ignorance I expect. Instead of harvesting them when they were young and sweet, the beans were left until they were fat and plump, yielding more bang for the buck (or the pound sterling). By that time the outer shell had grown into a thick, tough grey coat. No one ever told my mother that she should de-skin them before serving them to us. And I doubt should would have had the time or inclination to do it anyway, even if she'd known the secret. And because they were so old at that point, their once-tender insides had turned to starchy mush. That was the sad fava experience of my youth.
Now I love them, like you if I have time, peeling them is not a chore but a labour of love, although I appreciate it when the task has been done for me. I had them in a pasta dish when I was out for dinner just last night.

Hmmm...perhaps I will try this method next season...I have done favas once this year which is really all I can handle with the usual blanching/double peeling process. Unsure about the bitter flavor as I'm kinda a wimp, but perhaps my lazy gene is stronger :)

I know favas are a pain, but I love them enough to put up with the peeling.

I do blanch my favas. Such is my laziness -- they're easier to peel that way, no knife required. Then i find the peeling process to be serene, like shelling peas.

But I do like cucumber seeds and crispy garlic, too. And I own a garlic press. For dishes requesting raw garlic, it is perfect.

I am so excited to try my hand at preparing this interesting bean the Fava. I will head to the nearest farmers market buy a bunch and let you know how the prep and cooking go.

I had favas just last night, so was musing over the labor involved (though I do eat them raw and unshelled early in the season). Last night I was struck at what a large pile you start out with, only to end up with a tiny cup of shelled beans. But I love the brilliant green bean popping and sliding out of it's case. It looks like spring.

I love the ravishing green of favas , and enjoy the peeling/popping process of preparing them. It is lovely, and sort of soothing.
But then, I've never had enough favas. Even if I had unlimited access, I would not be making them to serve 30 people.

I'm firmly in the Fergus Henderson camp. Peeling the fava removes all "fava-ness" about it. We just use them when they are small enough to eat with the skin on. Or as it is said, "habas de abril para mí; las de mayo para el caballo".

The way you cook favas sounds delicious. I get hungry just reading about it.

I consider it one of my life's greatest achievements to have been your fava peeler - it is a title I will relish until my hair turns gray or in my case until I stop paying to have it colored.

Last weekend I had my first positive fava peeling experience:

Me and my friend Lettuce laid face down on her lawn plucking fava pods off the plants growing next to us and peeling them. We did an assembly line starting with our two 3 year old daughters opening the big pods, me peeling off the outer shell, and Lettuce taking off the inner peel. We gossiped and peeled and then when we had a full yogurt container, we went upstairs and sauteed them in olive oil, garlic, salt, roasted red peppers and toasted walnuts and tossed that with some pasta. It was an awesome lunch - even if the peppers were out of a jar from Trader Joe's.

I love FAVA BEANS!!!!! Coming from the Middle East, I grew up eating Foul at least twice a month. It was too tasty and now I'm craving it.

You have really got to try favas with fresh pecorino... I am living in Florence, Italy right now and this has been one of my favorite culinary revelations here. Here they eat 'em raw, drizzled with new (slightly peppery) olive oil, and enjoyed with pecorino and a little bread. So simple yet so incredible! Don't know if you still check this post/site, but if you get this, give it a try!

Don't laugh, I make them the same way but I have had just as much luck with them frozen! When I can't get fresh ones, I thaw them very slightly and cook them in a hot saute pan with garlic and some good OO, then salt.

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