Monday, May 19, 2008

Good without the liver and Chianti.

I will just go ahead and tell you that this has been the scariest thing in the farm share so far and I will admit to either composting my weekly share or giving it to one of the other two households splitting the weekly bounty.

I wasn't ready for a new vegetable! What are these mysterious green beasts hiding in a big fuzzy bean sleeping bag? I didn't get it and I was afraid.

I am actively ashamed now, so no need to violently berate me like you are planning on doing so you can just stop writing your "But fava beans are so good and you are such a loser!" comments because I will ignore them.

Sure, it's immature, but that's what we do around here. We act immature and compost scary vegetables until someone smart tells us what to do.

Thankfully there are nice and smart people like Taylor Design and Jen who came forward with some good suggestions (and cooking methods, thank you) for fava beans so that I could stop publicly shaming myself by composting perfectly good beans.

I didn't make the hummus recipe, but that's because I went the low maintenance route with this first batch to make sure that the flavor of these beans didn't taste like a horses ass or bring to mind sauteed human organs, which I'm glad to say they did not.

No, in fact, they have a nice full bean-y flavor that kind of reminds me of a cross between edemame and a chickpea maybe? I don't know. I'm not good with these comparisons. Anyway though, they're good and I can see how a fava bean hummus would be nice shmeared on some toasted sourdough which we have thanks to the bread share that we get with our farm share.


Perhaps I have convinced you to try these or at least stop throwing them out of your farm share and so I will also tell you how I made them so that if you get adventurous (or feel guilty like moi) you can make them at home and feel adventurous and worldly in your eating.

And the best part is that this recipe (if you can call it that, there's not much to it) doubles as a shmear if you own and want to use a food processor. Just thought I'd put that out there because that's my plan. Next time I make this recipe I'm throwing it in the food processor and making up some fava bean hummus for my sourdough.

Fava Bean Salad

Approx. 1 lb fava bean pods - shelled to 4 cups or so of beans
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp good olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

Boil the fava beans (shelled but still in their skin) in salted water for about 3 minutes until the skin lightens and you can see it start to split on a few beans.

Drain the beans and rinse with cold water. This will help when you go to squeeze the bean out of the skin because if you try to do this without rinsing, the boiling hot beans will scorch the ever loving crap out of your hands. I mean, I'm assuming it will. Ahem.

Pop the beans from their skin by pinching one end and letting the shiny green bean slip out of the skin. Like so:

Once you have all your beans skinned/shelled/whatever - toss them in a bowl with the lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic.

Allow the whole deal to mellow for 30 minutes or so at room temp so that the beans can soak up all the flavors and then toss with pasta, pour over mixed greens or just eat them straight from the bowl while you stand in your kitchen watching the dog flip the hell out over a squirrel running the fence line in the backyard.

Or, you know, whatever.

If you're, like, SO over salads and pasta for the time being - I think that throwing this mess in the food processor (maybe add a bit more oil OR MAYBE SOME TAHINI OMG) until the consistency is right would result in a kick ass hummus dip. Remember, this is just a theory right now since I haven't tried it out yet, so if it tastes like a horses ass - I warned you - UNTESTED RECIPE TERRITORY.

Go be a trailblazer with this idea and let me know if it comes out. Or, if you are a smart and nice person who knows of a good fava bean hummus recipe and wants to share it in the comments, well, that would be very smart and nice of you and I'll probably try it.

Speaking of which - Taylor - you were right, I DO love the fava bean - so no treaty necessary. However, I am not one to shun any goodness from Seville, so if you have extra orange marmalade laying around that you want to swap up for something good I've got here, lemme know: finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.


  1. YUMMMMMM!!! Sounds wonderful. And it's so interesting to see them in their non-canned form. And just another tidbit--I've started shunning the tahini even though I like it and just adding water and a tiny squirt of olive oil to make my hummus creamy. YES IT'S THAT EASY. SO with your recipe (which is basically all my ingredients for hummus), all you'd add is a bit of water while your processing. FAB.

    One more thing: HOW WAS YOUR RACE???

  2. Looks yummy.

    I don't think I have ever (ever!) seen a fava bean before, however that is what I guessed as soon as I saw the photo.

  3. I LOVE fava beans. They are a Bolivian staple. But let me ask you this -- do you think your recipe would work if they were dried? I haven't ever found them fresh here.

  4. Jen - I will SO do that and my bikini will thank me. Look at you with all your Fava Knowledge. Smartie.

    Lera - Spring them on your kids - who knows, they might like them. Some parents sent in photos of their kids to the farmshare newsletter and claim that they LOVE THEM SO MUCH but they could be liars.

    Kelli - I *knew* I was worldly and adventurous eating favas. Bolivian to be exact! And I hear they're big in EMEA, which is a big part of the worldly you know.

    I bet if you soak them over night like you would with pinto beans, you could then make them up much like this.

  5. I was at Greens last week, and they served whole (still in the pod) grilled fava beans! Their beans were on the smallish side (3-4 inches), and OMG they were so delicious! I had no idea you could eat the pod! The white fuzzy stuff becomes sort of gelatinous (in a good way).

    For larger beans I'll probably stick to my old stand by of blanch-peel-saute, then serve with good ricotta on crusty bread...


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

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Sucks, right?

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But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.