How We Eat Fava Beans at Plum Forest Farm
To eat fava beans remove the beans from the large outer pod. In the early weeks we generally eat the whole remaining bean including the slip of skin outside the inner bean. (Does this sound complicated? You’ll see once you open them up.) We cook the podded beans in olive oil and garlic in a cast iron pan until tender, which may be about 5 minutes. Later in the season we may remove the secondary pod as well (after cooking) if it is tough. Then salt and eat!
Fava Beans with Olive Oil and Parmesan
- Serves 2 as a little snack
1 pound fava bean pods, favas removed from pods (further description of husking follows; removing them from the pods should be self-explanatory)
Really good extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt (I like Maldon)
Freshly cracked black pepper
Place the favas in boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes. Rinse in cold water and begin the second shelling. Of course, as with all tedious things, there’s an easy way: (for a right-handed person) take the fava bean in your left hand, between thumb and forefinger, “belly” (hollow, scooped out side) up, with the sprout end (sometimes has a black striped) towards your right hand. With your right hand, hold a small pairing knife perpendicular to the bean, cut horizontally across the sprout end, making a tiny slit. Squeeze the bean out of the husk; it should pop right out. Repeat, ad nauseum, remembering the whole time how delicious favas are and how much you are going to enjoy them.
Bring another pot of water to a boil and salt liberally. Add the husked beans and boil for another 2 minutes. Rinse the beans lightly in cold water and drain well. Place on plates and drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper, and add just a few tiny grates of Parmesan.
Eat, savoring bean by bean, enjoying the fruits of your labor.