Fava Bean Fever
Peeling fava beans was a favorite childhood summertime cooking chore. Way better than mom asking me to get a new roll of paper towels or sending me to the corner store for bread. Splitting open a fava pod and peeling off the beans thick skin is a labor of mealtime love - it takes time, patience and must be done gingerly so as not to break apart your beans. I found and still find this process way more gratifying than snapping the ends off of string beans, that’s a walk down easy street. But, then again, I loved any chore that got me in the kitchen … or closest to eating ...
For those of you who don’t know, fava beans are similar in size and color to the lima bean but have a delicate flavor. Rich green in color, in our home we often times ate them with olive oil, pancetta, grated cheese and a little pepper over pasta. I’ve enjoyed them mashed a la hummus and most recently this week’s CSA and produce market jaunt included not only these delectable and versatile beans - but tomatoes, fennel, leeks, lacinato kale and dill - so I rightfully took my fava beans to a veggie filled town of love, texture, color and herby flavor.
And, listen, if you’re not down with the fava peeling process - you can easily choose a chickpea or white bean and make the same meal.
I find beans to be the best meal and a God send on a weeknight. Fiber laden, nutritious, filling, wonderful with a crisp white wine … this meal, when all is said an done, can take 15 minutes to make if your fava beans are prepped or if you go the canned route.
No matter what, stop bitchin’ and get in your kitchen.
Farmers Market Fava *sub in any bean, feel free to use scallions, chard or any green you like
1 cup of fava beans de-shelled
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup of thinly sliced leeks
1/4 cup of thinly sliced fennel
1/4 cup of thinly sliced kale
6-8 cherry tomatoes sliced in half
1/4 cup of water
Juice of 1 lemon + zest
5-6 sprigs of dill, stem removed
Salt to taste
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high flame and add leeks
Saute leeks until translucent and add fennel, continuing to cook for 2-3 minutes
Add fava beans and mix with ingredients, and add water - cook for 5 minutes
Add kale, tomatoes, lemon juice, set and a pinch of salt, lowering your flame to medium and cooking for another 7 minutes
Finish with dill and salt to taste
Serve with crusty bread or eat as is