Fabulous Fava BeansSeptember 15, 2011
We found some amazing looking fava beans at the Market last week. They are such a treat, and the window of opportunity is quite short to find them fresh, so we snapped up a healthy amount and took them right home. The process for shelling and cooking fava beans is quite laborious, but oh so worth it. They are amazing added to other dishes, but this time, we just cooked them with a bit of butter and a little salt, and they are so good, it is hard not to eat them right out of the pan.
You first need to shell the beans from the fava pods. The inside of the pod is truly magical, the way the bean is nestled like little pillows in a row. You will be amazed at how few beans you actually get from a large amount of pods, so always buy more than you think you should get. The extra large blue bowl yielded us the small little white bowl of fava beans. But as stated above, they are very darn worth it.
Once you have gotten all the beans out of the pods, put them all in a salted pot of boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. This process is done to help soften the outer casing, so you can get the fava bean out. Then take all of the beans out of the boiling water and put in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. This will also allow them to cool so you can handle them easily.
Take out of the cold water once they have cooled. Now you need to peel the outer shell off. Again, this is a bit of work. Once you have them all peeled you are ready to sauté these bad boys up. Over medium heat in a skillet, add a tablespoon or 2 of butter. Once it has melted, add the prized fava beans and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt when done. I like them a little al dente, so we usually cook them closer to 3 minutes. That is it! Savor each and every one of those fab fava. They are glorious with a piece of white fish, such as dover sole or halibut.