what to do with favas

Here are Corina Wiebel’s thoughts on favas from the first spring of Farm to Curb:

shucking fava beans… the double shuck

fava beans can be (but don't have to be) shucked twice.  

first shucking: strip them out of their cozy, pods. usually if you twist the pod it will open up and you can pull the beans out of their comfortable home.

second shucking: get a pot of salted water boiling. once the water boils drop the shucked favas into the pot. when the water comes back to a boil, turn off the heat, strain out the beans, and peel them out of their skins… (Aliza’s note: I usually sort my beans by size- large and small- add the larger ones to the boiling water first and then the smaller ones, wait for the beans to float to the surface of the boiling water and then skim the floaters out with a slotted spoon. If I’m going to use them later or want to keep them bright green and firm, I immediately rinse them in cold water or an ice bath to cool them quickly.) Or you could toss them with a bit of good olive oil, fine salt and a pinch of chili flakes while they are still warm.

Favas are also nice added to your couscous or lettuce salads along with sliced radishes, parsley and mint. But you can also skip the lettuce, up the herbs, make a lemony dressing, add pita chips, sprinkle with some sumac and have a fava fattoush. 

To make a fava puree with the double shucked favas… 
Warm some olive oil (maybe ¼ cup of oil for 2-3 cups of shucked favas) in a small pot along with some chili (flakes or part of an arbol chili), a couple cloves of garlic or a green garlic bulb, a little rosemary and/or oregano. Once the garlic has completely softened and the oil is fragrant, add the shucked favas and stir to coat with the oil. Let the favas warm and soften in the flavored oil and then puree in a food processor with salt to taste. You can add a little squeeze of lemon to taste as well. Fava puree is delicious on toasted or grilled bread. You can also top it with feta, pecorino or parmesan. It’s also nice with black oil cured olives.