fava beans

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Fava beans this week! This dish sounds fantastic. I will be trying this soon – Leslie

Recipe from allrecipes.com
Serves 4

1/2 pound fresh, unshelled fava beans
4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup grated Reggiano Parmesan cheese
salt to taste


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, shell the favas and discard the pods. Boil the favas for 4 minutes, strain then immediately plunge into ice water. Let cool for 2 minutes then pierce the favas and squeeze them out of their skins. Separate ¾ of the favas and puree in a food processor.

In a separate large saucepan bring the broth to a simmer and keep it hot. Meanwhile, in another large saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 ½ tablespoons of the butter and add the onions. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes; do not brown the onions. Add the rice and cook, while stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine, increase the heat to medium, and stir constantly. When the wine has been absorbed, add a little of the stock. Once the stock is absorbed, add a little more. Repeat this process, stirring constantly, until the rice is cooked through.

To the cooked rice add the pureed favas, the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of butter, the rest of the favas, and the cheese. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the butter and cheese melt and the puree is incorporated evenly. Season with salt.

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As Persephone split share subscribers, we got a bag of fat fava beans for the second week in a row. These are mysterious, possibly magical beans. Until last year I only knew of fava beans as the side dish favored by Hannibal ‘The Cannibal’ Lecter in the oscar winning “The Silence of the Lambs“. Creepy! Don’t let that turn you off to fava beans, turns out they are delicious and it’s a treat to get them fresh from the farm down the street. A bit of googling and chatting with apprentices, Caitlin and Greg inspired my fava bean lunch…

Fava beans with Walla Walla onions

Fava Beans with Walla Walla Onions

Fava Beans with
Walla Walla Onions

Shell the beans, drop into boiling water and boil for 2 minutes. Drain the water and, so you can handle them, rinse a bit with cool water. Then remove the outer skin of each bean. Just pinch the fat end of the bean and cut the small end with a paring knife. Pinch a bit more and the bright green inner bean slides out. Easy enough. Although you can eat the outer skin, the inside is the good stuff. Heat up a bit of good olive oil, add some sliced Walla Walla onions (also in this week’s box) and gently saute until they soften a bit. Add the fava beans and heat them up. Then you’re done. I added some of Judith’s fresh chèvre, and salt and pepper (oh and some Parmesean cheese too). It was lovely.

Here’s some more info on fava beans. Did you know they were the only beans Europeans ate before they discovered America and all its legumes? So says this NPR article by Bonny Wolf.

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