Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cool Beans - Turning the Mysterious Fava Bean Inside Out

This fava bean video recipe was originally published last year, but since I've been seeing beautiful fava beans at farmer's market I thought it was a perfect time for a rerun.

It’s a shame when people don’t get to experience some great culinary pleasure simply because they don’t know how to work with the product. Fava beans, also called Broad Beans, or Horse Beans, is a good example of that.

These beans are a favorite of Chefs worldwide because of their beautiful color and unique flavor. Unfortunately, for the average grocery store, or vegetable stand shopper, they are just those big, ugly, green pods that get passed over for the more familiar green string beans. I hope after watching this demo that you will run out and buy a big pile of these wonderful beans and begin
to enjoy them, as they deserve to be. If you don’t find them at the grocery store, check the local farmer’s market.

Yes, as you’ll see, there is a little bit of work involved in preparing these beans for whatever recipe you are planning to use them in, but when you consider how delicious they are, it’s definitely worth the effort. I compared them in the original title to Russian Dolls since the part of the bean you eat is actually a seed that is
encased in a think skin, which is encased in a large green pod.

Once liberated, these Fava beans are an incredible addition to so many dishes. They can be eaten plain, added to pastas, risottos, soups, or on salads.
I have a delicious video recipe for a fava bean salad, pictured above, that you can check out by clicking on the link. Enjoy!

Note: In the video I say "MTV," but really meant "VH1." Sorry, Flav.


Anonymous said...

great fava photo!

A.C. said...

video recipes? what a FABULOUS idea!
I've already been through a few!
Love this fava bean one... I've never know what to do with them... not so intimidated anymore!
I'll be coming back of course!

RB said...

Thanks for the tips on preping this under-appreciated treasure. I saute 'em in olive oil, add a little salt & pepper, and serve them on a toasted baguette round with goat cheese, topped with a roasted red pepper strip. mmmmm.

Chef John said...


Anonymous said...

Hey there-

Your Mom told me about your site. We live in the same town (your Mom and I) . Love the video recipes, nice touch.

Chef John said...

thanks, and welcome to food wishes!

Anonymous said...

in the original story the liver was served with fava beans and big Amarone (unfortunately changed to Chianti in the movie sript)

Thank you for the video, Chef - I tried to cook fava beans once and it was a trial-and-error experiment (I also forgot to peal the skin from the seeds)

Anonymous said...

thanks for the tips! ^^ I loveee your recipes <3

Anonymous said...

Just received Fava Beans in our Monthly Organic local farm shipment - Did not know what to do with them - I remember hearing they were horrible [not sure if was in reference to prep work or taste]

Anyhow, found your FAVA 101 excellent. I prepped my first beans today and even tasted them as is. It is a very strong flavor and pretty okay on its own. Putting these in a salad will definitely bring a kick.


Kasia said...

The fava or broad beans are eaten in Poland, it a very common veg. we cook it in a well salted water in their skins until brown and soft and almost fall apart and then we drain them, wait a little bit to let them cool down, (although it's sometimes hard-cause they're so delicius! and you end up burning your toung and fingertips)and then eat them! on their own! yummy! i've got some planted in my garden, two more months and we'll have a feast!
BTW great website! love recipies, super funny style:)

Eve said...

You can totally eat the pods of a fava. Here, you should make sure the pods are not too brown or gross. You pick at them just like a string bean (they have hard core strings at the top and bottom) then break into a few pieces. This is not going to be pretty, so don't try. Sautee about one head of minced garlic in loads of olive oil and then add an onion, add salt and pepper with onion. When soft add cinnamon and allspice, give a turn (like three seconds) and add favas. Sautee for a minute or two, then add H2O and let cook till tender. Takes about 1 hour to an hour and a half. Add lemon juice at the very end. Don't add in the beginning or the favas will never cook. Eat pod, seed and coat and all with some yummy pitas or turkish pide. Yum veggie dish!

Unknown said...

Um, I want this. I want this RIGHT NOW!!

I don't even know what artichoke tastes like.


Anonymous said...

hi Chef,
what kind of mint? I have lots of spearmint.

Chef John said...

That works! :)

Lindsay said...

I got introduced to broad beans in the UK and now I grow them in my own garden.

My favourite way to eat them is as a warm salad. I can't remember where I got this recipe from originally.

Fry up some finely chopped chorizo sausage. Nice sausage. Don't cheap out on chorizo or else it tastes like salami with paprika. Plus it won't have enough looovely fat in it. Then toss in some finely copped onion and cook until soft. Toss in the skinned beans and warm through. Voila!

So easy. Just tell everyone the 'dressing' is a family secret or else they go all weird and start worrying about their hips!