About Nash’s Dried Diana Fava Beans

diana fava beans

Diana fava beans are a huge nutrition boost!

Fava beans are very high in protein and energy, like other beans and lentils. These beans also have lots of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and plant-sterols.

They are a very rich source of dietary fiber for normal elimination. Dietary fiber helps to protect the mucous membrane of the colon by decreasing its exposure time to toxic substances as well as by binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.

In addition, fava beans are an excellent source of minerals like iron, copper, manganese, calcium, and magnesium. Favas are one of the highest plant sources of potassium. Potassium is an important electrolyte of cell and body fluids. It helps counter the effects of sodium on heart and blood pressure.

Thoroughly rinse and inspect Diana fava beans, picking out small dirt clods or damaged beans that made it through our seed cleaner. Soak 1 part beans in 2 parts water for 6+ hours; they will double in size. Strain, rinse and combine 1 part soaked beans in 2 parts fresh water. Bring to a boil and season as desired with chili powder, cumin, coriander, bay leaf, garlic, peppers, onions, etc. Add salt and/or tomatoes halfway through and lower to a simmer. Dianas are tender in about 65 minutes. (Allow for additional cooking time if beans have not been pre-soaked.) Favas become very tender when simmered on low in a crockpot overnight. Dried fava beans will double in size when cooked.

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Fava Bean Sauté

fava beans

Fava beans go great with garlic!

1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced or 2 finely chopped garlic scapes
1 1/2 cups skinned fava beans
Ground pepper to taste
Fettuccine (optional)
1/2 cup cream (optional)

Over medium heat in a skillet, melt together butter and olive oil, add garlic cloves or garlic scapes, and sauté for 1 minute. Add 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. Add other delicious items, such as caramelized onions or fennel, chunky fresh tomatoes, a bit of chopped prosciutto, a cup of chopped endive, or some sauteed shrimp. Serve on cooked fettuccine with 1/2 cup cream (optional).

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Hopping Nash Fritters

mixed radishes

Named for “Hopping John Fritters,” these patties are supposed to bring good luck to those who eat them on New Year’s Day.

1 cup Nash’s dried fava beans, blanched
1 cup triticale berries, cooked
2 cups dried black-eyed peas, cooked
1 pound Nash’s sweet Italian sausage
1 medium onion
1 bunch parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 bunch purple radishes
1 teaspoon or less cayenne pepper
Bread crumbs

Soak fava beans overnight in 2 cups water, drain and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Soak triticale overnight in 2 cups water, drain and cook in 1 1/2 cups of water for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Soak black-eyed peas overnight in 4 cups water, drain and cook in 3 cups water for about 1 hour on medium heat.

Saute pork in medium skillet, add chopped onion, chopped parsley, salt,
pepper and sliced radishes. Let cook for about 15 minutes on medium heat. Once the sausage turns golden brown, turn off heat and let cool.
Drain cooked berries and black-eyed peas (make sure there is no liquid on bottom of cooking dish). Let cool.

In a separate bowl, combine triticale berries, black-eyed peas and sausage combo. Mash together just so the beans start to break apart. Add fava beans and cayenne pepper. Mix all together and form patties. Add some bread crumbs so they hold together well. If you like a gluten-free option add a little bit of almond meal and it will act as a binder. Pan fry and enjoy the good luck that local foods bring to your table.

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Shara’s Pesto


Basil shares the spotlight with arugula and fava beans in this tasty hummus dip.

1 bunch basil
1 bunch arugula
1 bunch garlic scapes
1 cup shelled fava beans
2 tablespoons soy sauce, Braggs, or tamari sauce (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt to taste

Boil 5 cups water in a saucepan. Add the fava beans and garlic scapes and cook 5 minutes or until soft. Add the arugula and basil and cook 2 minutes more. Drain, add all other ingredients, and put into a food processor. Process until smooth.

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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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Triticale Berries with Basil Oil and Seasonal Greens Stir Fry

Triticale Berries
Rinse berries well and soak overnight. Drain and simmer in water for 1 hour.


Imagine the aroma in our basil greenhouses — and imagine that same lovely scent in your own kitchen.

Basil Oil
1 1/2 cups (packed) fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup olive oil

Blanch basil in boiling water for 10 seconds. Drain and rinse under cold water. Pat basil dry with paper towels. Transfer to blender, add oil and puree until smooth. Transfer to small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill. Can be made up to 3 days ahead. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before using.

Seasonal greens
1 bunch garlic scapes
1 bunch chopped rainbow chard
1 bunch spinach
1 bunch baby dill
1 1/2 pounds fava beans, husked and blanched
2 tablespoons oil
Splash apple cider vinegar or other vinegar

In a medium skillet, saute garlic scapes and 1 cup cooked triticale berries in 2 tablespoons oil. Once berries start to turn golden brown, add fava beans, rainbow chard, baby dill and spinach. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Once the greens cook down, add a splash of vinegar. Take off stove, plate up, and drizzle with basil oil.

For a more meaty option, serve with Nash’s spicy Italian sausage, made into patties and pan fried. Makes a great sweet and spicy combo!

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Quinoa, Fava and Cauliflower Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

In addition to the protein and other nutrients present in quinoa, multicolored quinoa also has antioxidant-rich phytonutrients called anthocyanins present in the red pigments. If you want a prettier, more intensely flavored cauliflower, take the extra step of roasting it (see variation below).

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

1 cup multicolored quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
Salt to taste
1 1/2 pounds fava beans
1/2 head cauliflower, broken into small florets
2 tablespoons chopped chives

For the dressing
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, puréed
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
5 tablespoons buttermilk
Freshly ground pepper

Rinse the quinoa in several changes of water. Heat a heavy medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat and add the quinoa. Stir until the water on the grains has evaporated and the quinoa begins to crackle and smell toasty. Add the water and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 20 minutes, until some of the quinoa grains display a little white spiral and the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, place a dish towel over the top of the pot and return the lid. Let sit for 15 minutes, then fluff the quinoa with a fork.

Meanwhile, shell and skin the fava beans. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. Drop the shelled fava beans into the boiling water and boil 5 minutes. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer immediately to the cold water. Allow the beans to cool for several minutes, then slip off their skins by pinching off the eye of the skin and squeezing gently. Hold several beans in one hand and use your other thumb and forefinger to pinch off the eyes; have a bowl for the shelled favas close at hand, and this will not take a very long time.

Bring the water in the pot back to a boil and drop in the cauliflower. Boil 3 to 5 minutes, until just tender. Transfer to a bowl of ice water, drain and dry on paper towels. Alternatively, steam the cauliflower for 4 to 5 minutes, or see the roasting variation below.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Toss the quinoa, fava beans, cauliflower and chives in a bowl. Toss with the dressing and serve.

The salad will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator.

Roasted Cauliflower Variation
For a prettier, more intensely flavored cauliflower, roast it while you cook the quinoa. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment. Slice the cauliflower 1/2 inch thick, sprinkle with salt and curry powder (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon) and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil or grapeseed oil. Roast 15 to 20 minutes, stirring or flipping the pieces over with tongs halfway through, until the cauliflower is tender and lightly browned. Remove from the heat and cut into smaller pieces if desired, then toss with the other salad ingredients as directed.

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Fava Bean Pesto on Charred Romaine Salad

fava beans

Did you know that you could grill lettuce? Or that you could make pesto from fava beans? Try doing both with this tasty recipe.

1 cup fava beans, removed from pods and blanched
1 bunch garlic scapes, roasted
4 tablespoons olive oil
Lemon juice to taste (optional)
Salt to taste
1 head romaine lettuce

Preheat oven to 375. Place garlic scapes on a cookie sheet with a little bit of oil and roast for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cooled, place all ingredients except romaine in a food processor and pulse till combined. Set aside.

Cut romaine head into 4 wedges. Drizzle the cut sides of the wedges with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the romaine over a hot fire, cut side down, until charred in spots, about 20 seconds. Turn the romaine over and grill for 20 seconds longer. Transfer the wedges to a platter, cut side up, and drizzle the fava bean pesto over them.

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Six Tips for Cooking Dried Beans

Don’t shy away from any great legume just because it’s dried. Here are some preparation suggestions, thanks to The Kitchn.

diana fava beans

Need some inspiration for your bean dishes? Try diana fava beans, the smaller and rounder sibling to the more typical lima bean-shaped windsor fava bean. They’re super tasty!

1. Use as little water as possible. Don’t let the beans get soggy or ultra-soft, because that dilutes their rich pot liquor, the incredibly flavorful liquid that comes off as they cook. Cook them slowly over low heat, only adding water if they start to dry up. Add enough water to just cover the beans, bring them to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook, uncovered, as low as you can.

2. Don’t mess with the beans. Some people add bacon, ham or garlic. However, well-grown heirloom beans have incredible ranges of flavor, nothing like canned beans. Try a couple pots of beans with just salt and pepper. You’ll be surprised at what you taste.

3. Don’t forget the salt! Beans need some salt. They have immense natural flavor, but they need some salt to bring it out, and they absorb quite a bit before it starts show through. Add a teaspoon of salt to the cooking water and more to taste in the last half hour of cooking.

4. Soak the beans. Rinsing dried beans then soaking them overnight in clean water will reduce the cooking time for most beans, although good fresh dried beans are less in need of a soak.

5. Cook dried beans for the right amount of time. Cooking time depends on the bean, but usually you’re looking at about 2-4 hours. Cover with water and simmer on an evening when you’re doing other things. Refrigerate and eat over the next several days.

6. Fresh beans need less cooking time. Freshly hulled beans will cook in about 45 minutes or less.

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Fava Bean Borscht

fava beans

Fava beans are great fresh, but you can also dry them and eat them in hearty soups, like this flavorful borscht. The crews have taste tested this particular recipe, and we give it a big thumbs up!

Make 2 quarts

1/2 cup Nash’s Windsor fava beans, dried
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/3 cup oil
1 medium leek or onion, sliced fine
2 sticks celery, sliced
1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/4 teaspoon Nash’s mustard seeds
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium turnip, sliced fine
4 medium potatoes, cut into eighths
4 medium beets, sliced
2 cups cabbage, sliced
2-3 cups water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup dill, parsley or beet greens
Black pepper

Wash the favas and soak overnight, covered with water. Place beans in a pot with 3 cups fresh water, then add bay leaves and basil. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium heat until tender. Do not drain.

Heat the oil in a stock pot. Add leeks/onions, celery, caraway seeds, mustard seeds and garlic, and cook until tender. Add carrots, turnip, potatoes and beets, and simmer 3-5 minutes until veggies are tender. Combine with cooked fava beans. Add water, vinegar, dill, pepper and salt to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in sliced cabbage. Serve with hot sauce and sour cream.

We thank Mary Wong of our Nash’s Farm Store crew for this recipe.

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