Tuesday, June 1, 2010

garlicky lemony fava beans

There is a bag of fava beans in my fridge crying out to be eaten. They arrived in the CSA box last week and have felt pretty ignored since that point. It's not because I don't want to use them - my intentions have been good. I thought about making something with them last week, but opted for the more familiar broccoli that had been the favas' boxmates. I nearly made a salad with them for our Sunday BBQ, but again they were usurped by another veggie (green beans, in a blackened green bean citrus salad).

I've only cooked fava beans once before (fava bean bruschetta), so perhaps part of my hesitancy is because I'm not entirely sure what to do with them. Also, the one time I prepared the fresh beans before, I found them to be a bit of work: they are double encased, which means they are generally first be shelled, then blanched and the second skin removed. As I started poking around on the internet, however, I learned a shortcut.

I discovered a number of recipes that involved sautéing the fava beans (second skin intact). The one I basically followed (with one minor modification) was from the Mariquita Farm's website, where they have an entire subpage devoted to fava bean recipes. The one that caught my eye is called "Julia's Desparation Favas". The first step listed is "have children, guests, or domestic partners remove fava beans from pods," which I found amusing. My modification to the recipe was the addition of lemon juice and zest and chili flakes (we are overrun with lemons at the moment, as a neighbor JR ran into while walking the pug yesterday sent him home with a bagful). Here's what I did:

Garlicky Lemony Fava Beans
Serves 2

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 pound fava beans, shelled
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/4 tsp. crushed chili flakes
sea salt

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add fava beans, garlic, lemon juice and zest, and chili flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beans begin to brown and the skins are beginning to come off. The whole thing can be eaten. Serve hot as a side dish or cold for a lemony fava bean salad. Enjoy!

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