As Christine mentioned, fava beans (also known as broad beans) are both highly versatile as well as rich in history! Below are some tips and recipes for working with the vicia faba plant in the kitchen.
A Quick Fava Bean Snack
Soak matured beans in water overnight or even longer. Once they are almost completely rehydrated, drain out the water and fry them in olive oil until they are crisp and the shells split open. Salt and serve with a wedge of lemon.
Some Ideas for Fava Greens
You can treat fava greens as you would normally to spinach or pea shoots. Some say that they lend themselves to taste like spinach, even. You can mix them (raw) into salads or wilt them slightly by tossing them with a warm vinaigrette. Alternatively, saute them with garlic and use them to garnish ricotta-topped crostini. Or if you have a large bunch, wash and dry well. Saute quickly (no more than 3 minutes) over high heat with a little butter and salt. Top with a dash of lemon zest.
Fava Greens, Edible Flower, and Poached Egg Salad
- 2 cups lightly packed fava greens (leaves and tender sprigs)
- 1 handful flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1 tbsp. fresh marjoram leaves
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup pansy petals and fava blossoms (organically grown)
- 1 tbsp. sliced green onion
- 1 1/2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tbsp. Meyer lemon juice
- Sea salt, to taste
- 1 large egg
1. Put cleaned fava greens, herbs, flowers, and green onion in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk oil, lemon juice, and salt to taste.
2. Crack egg into a small cup. Heat a saucepan of water until small bubbles form. Gently lower egg into water and cook just until whites set, about 3 minutes.
3. Toss salad with most of dressing and transfer to a plate. Gently scoop egg from water with a slotted spoon and set on salad. Drizzle remaining dressing over egg.