How to Use Fresh Fava Beans

fava beans

Fava beans are fun and delicious!

One of the largest beans and certainly the richest in flavor, favas are a real harbinger of summer. People all over the world enjoy their rich taste and generous nutrition. Also called “broad beans,” they are high in fiber and iron, and low in sodium and fat. They have no cholesterol but so much protein that they were called “the beef of the poor” in Charles Dickens’ day.

If the beans are very young, the whole bean can be chopped up and used, pods and all. Otherwise shuck them to your preference. There is a whiteish skin around the bean itself, which some people like to eat, and others prefer to discard (see below).

Sauté shucked beans with peas and mushrooms, or with shrimp and thyme for a delicious and elegant summer supper. Toss them into soups, stir-fries or pasta. Roast them with garlic, olive oil and salt to taste, or use them raw, whole or chopped into salads. Puree favas for an alternative green base to pizza or pasta. Boil and mash them, and spread the paste on crostini.

Shucking favas

First, split the pod at the seam and remove the beans. There are about 4 to 5 per pod.

To remove the second skin, there are two different methods. The first is to make a small slit with a knife along the edge of the bean to pop the bean out of its skin.

The alternate, and more popular, method is to blanch them for 1-3 minutes. Remove the beans from the boiling water and immediately submerge them in ice cold water to stop the cooking process. At this point, you can spread the beans out on a cookie sheet to freeze, then bag and store in freezer. If you’re going to use them right away, squeeze them out from their skins, and use as directed in any recipe of your choice.

Sauteeing fava beans

Shuck 2 pounds of fava beans. Use either method to remove the outer skin of the beans. You should have about 1.5 cups beans. Over medium heat in a skillet, melt together 1 tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon olive oil, add two minced garlic cloves (or 2 finely chopped garlic scapes) and sauté for 1 minute. Add the fava beans and sauté for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until they are done to your preference. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, serve, and enjoy!

Or get a little fancier. Add other delicious items, such as caramelized onions or fennel, chunky fresh tomatoes, a bit of chopped proscuitto, and a cup of chopped endive. Serve on fettuccine with a light cream sauce.

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Sweet Cherry Feta Quinoa

We have been partnering with PDQ Farm in Zillah, WA, for over 10 years, and this is another example of how our Store supports Washington State organic farmers and their high-quality products. We picked up their beautiful Bing cherries on Wednesday, so they are fresh and delicious.

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup peach or apricot jam
1/4 cup white wine or apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. water
1/2 cup fresh cherries, pitted, quartered
1 cup shucked fava beans, outer membrane removed, and steamed to al dente
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted

For the dressing, place the jam, vinegar, olive oil, Dijon, salt, and water in a small jar. Screw on the lid and shake until thoroughly blended and emulsified.

Rinse the quinoa and drain well. Bring 1 1/4 cups water and the quinoa to a boil in a large pot, cover, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook 10-12 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa is just tender but still a little firm. Once cooked, remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork, and then drizzle about 1/2 of the vinaigrette over the quinoa and toss to coat. Allow to cool.

Add the cherries, favas, celery, onion, herbs, and feta to the quinoa. Toss to combine and refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, sprinkle with toasted almonds and drizzle with additional vinaigrette.

We thank fountainavenuekitchen.com for this delicious recipe.

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Fava Bean Pasta Salad with Garlic Scape Pesto

fava beans

Fava pasta!

This is a delicious spring recipe perfect for a picnic lunch. Serve the pasta salad atop fresh spinach to increase the nutrient density of your meal!

1 cup coarsely chopped garlic scapes
⅔ cup shredded Parmesan
½ cup shelled pistachios
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
½ cup olive oil
2 lb. fava beans
1 lb. Gemelli (corkscrew) pasta, cooked
6 oz. crumbled feta

In the bowl of a food processor, combine garlic scapes, Parmesan, pistachios, salt, and pepper, and pulse to coarsely chop. While machine is running, gradually add oil until pesto is pureed but still a bit chunky. Set aside.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add fava beans and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse beans with cold water. Remove the tough outer skin of each by pinching the outer skin to pop out the darker-green bean inside. Discard skins and place beans in a large bowl. Add pasta and feta, and then toss with pesto to coat. Serve at room temperature or after chilling.

We thank CountryLiving.com for this recipe.

Gemelli Pasta

Gemelli pasta is the type of pasta that is tightly twisted around itself like a corkscrew. (But I’m sure any type of pasta would work here!)

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Kia’s Crock Pot Favas & Chicken

fava beans

Fava beans are fun and delicious!

Slow-cooked favas are tender and pair effortlessly with anything else you want to toss in the pot. Skip the meat and add extra veggies and lots of herbs for a vegetarian meal.

1-2 cups shucked fava beans
Approx. 2 pounds chicken thighs/drumsticks/breast, or other meat
2 cups fresh or canned salsa
4 cups chopped celery, onions, peppers, zukes, carrots, potatoes, etc.
Approx. two cups water
Salt and pepper
Fresh or dried oregano, thyme, basil, cilantro, rosemary, etc.

Put all ingredients in crock pot with salt/pepper/herbs as desired. Cover and cook on medium heat overnight or 6-8 hours. Add a fresh bunch of roughly chopped spinach/kale/chard the last 30 min of cooking, as desired. Serve hot over rice/quinoa/pasta/shredded cabbage etc.

Fava Tip: Approx 1 pound fresh favas = 1 cup shucked beans.

We thank Nash’s own Kia for this recipe.

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Simple Sautéed Fava Beans

fava beans

Fava beans are fun and delicious!

3-4 pounds fava beans
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Pinch of salt

Shell the fava beans from the larger pods. Bring 2 cups water to boil, and cook the fava beans for 2 minutes, strain, and rinse with cold water. Pierce the outer shell of the bean with your fingernail, and slip the bright green beans out of this second layer into a bowl.

Heat oil in sauté pan over medium heat. Add beans, and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add diced garlic and sauté for 2-3 more minutes. The beans should be just browned. Remove from heat, add lemon and salt. Serve as a side dish or atop a salad.

We thank Virginia Newman for this recipe.

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Diana Fava Bean Soup

diana fava beans

This simple soup is delicious. Serve alongside Nash’s roasted root vegetables for a nourishing winter meal.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion or 2 small leeks, chopped
1 sprig rosemary, pulled from stem and chopped
1 teaspoon thyme
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups cooked Nash’s diana fava beans
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano, divided
Freshly ground black pepper

Cover 1 3/4 cups dried favas with water and soak overnight. Drain, rinse, cover with water and cook for 45 minutes or until tender.

Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add onion, rosemary and thyme and sauté until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, beans and salt. Lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano and then puree soup with a hand immersion blender or pour into a blender and puree (ensure the soup is cool enough and puree in small batches to avoid splatter). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

We thank Virginia Newman for this recipe.

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Fresh Fava Pesto and Pasta

fava beans

Fava beans are fun and delicious!

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup shelled fresh fava beans (about 1/2 pound in the pod)
1/2 cup roasted unsalted almonds (about 2 ounces)
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh mint leaves
12 ounces angel hair pasta (capellini)

Blanch unshelled whole fava beans until bright green and tender, about 2 minutes. Run under cold water to stop the cooking. When cool, cut the tough outer skins and squeeze the beans from the skins (discard skins).

Pulse almonds with garlic in a food processor until coarsely ground. Add favas, cheese and oil; process to a paste. Add mint, and pulse a few times until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta, drain, and toss with pesto until coated. Garnish with grated cheese to finish.

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Sweet Corn Soup

corn on the cob

Although corn lovers often profess to have favorite varieties, the real key is freshness. Avoid corn with dry, pale husks and silks that are desiccated where they enter the cob. If pricked, kernels should squirt whitish juice. As for choosing the best-tasting corn, don’t buy a cob that’s more than 24 hours out of the field.

1 1/4 cups boiled sweet corn kernels
1/4 cup boiled and crushed sweet corn kernels
1 cup finely chopped and boiled mixed veggies (carrots, cauliflower, de-husked fava beans)
4 tablespoons corn flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
Salt to taste

Combine corn flour and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl and mix until the flour dissolves completely. Set aside.

Heat the butter in a deep pan. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté on medium heat until fragrant. Add the sweet corn, crushed sweet corn and veggies. Mix well and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Add 4 cups water, corn flour/water mixture, salt and pepper, mix well and cook on medium for another 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately sprinkled with diced peppers as an optional garnish.

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Kia’s Chilled Veggie & Bean Salad

Kidney beansThis wonderful summer salad hits the spot for cookouts, as a topping for a fresh green salad, or as a high-protein snack on the go. It’s also versatile, so get creative about what types of veggies you use, depending what’s in your fridge or your weekly CSA box!

You can also mix up the types of beans you use in this dish. Any combination of black, kidney, garbanzo, Nash’s dried favas, or even lentils will work well.

This recipe was whipped up for one of Nash’s’ July Farm Lunches, as a topping for tacos. It makes about 3-4 quarts. Downsize the ingredient list accordingly, to make a smaller batch, as desired.

1 medium zucchini
1 medium-large cucumber
1 small-medium Wall Walla onion or red onion
1 green or red pepper
6-8 cups cooked beans (any kind!)
1 cup apple cider vinegar
3 limes, juiced
2 cloves garlic finely minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 cups fresh cilantro, finely minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or tamari soy sauce
(A cup or two of fresh cut corn and some diced tomatoes are also wonderful in this salad. I didn’t have any on hand at the time, but they would be a great addition!)

Shred or small diced the zucchini, cucumber, onion and pepper. Add the cooked beans to the fresh veggies and toss well.

Combine the vinegar, lime juice, garlic, olive oil, oregano, fresh cilantro, chili powder and liquid aminos or tamari with the veggies and beans, and mix everything up really well.

Eat immediately, or let dish rest for an hour or two, or even a full day if possible, for the marinade to work its magic!

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Kia’s Bean Dip

Kidney Beans

What’s your favorite bean to make into dip? Let us know in the comments below!

You can use pretty much any bean you want in this recipe. Seriously. I recently did a combo of Nash’s dried fava beans, black beans and the last of my dried scarlet runner beans from the garden last year. Any combo of beans (or lentils!) will work great for this recipe, so use up the little bits of this and that in your pantry and get dippin’!

5 cups cooked beans, drained
1/3 cup Walla Walla onions or red onions, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 cup salsa, or fresh or canned tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 teaspoons toasted cumin seeds, or ground cumin, or chili powder
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine everything in a food processor or blender and whirl it up! Thin with a splash of water or more olive oil as needed. Serve immediately, or store in the fridge for up to 5 days or so. This dip is great with raw veggies, pitas, chips, burritos or as a side with rice and a green salad. Yum!

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Ful

fava beans

Fava beans are fun and delicious!

Ful is considered the national dish of Egypt and it is eaten at all times of the day, but it is most popular at breakfast.

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onions
5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried mint (can substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tomato, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 3/4 cup cooked fava beans
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
5 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Warm the oil in a saucepan. Add the onions, garlic, and salt, cover, and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft (about 7 minutes). Add the mint and cumin and sauté for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the tomatoes, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the beans and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Adapted by Virginia Newman from The Moosewood Restaurant’s Low Fat Favorites by the Moosewood Collective.

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