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"...with fava beans and a nice chianti..."
July 23, 2007 9:29 AM   Subscribe

What else can I do with fava beans?

I've recently developed a major food crush on fresh fava beans (thanks, farmers' market!), and I'd love some suggestions for other ways to enjoy them.

Things I've tried:
Fava bean & sweet corn succotash
Pasta with fava beans & pancetta
Fava beans in sweet pea & mint pesto
Crostini with mashed fava beans, lemon, garlic and mint

Any other recipes / suggestions would be very, very helpful in my attempt to get the most out of this lovely legume.

and before you make a "Silence of the Lambs" joke, you should look at the title of this question....
posted by dersins to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
fava bean hummus: puree cooked beans with tahini and lemon juice and eat with pita , red pepper sticks, or chips
posted by rmless at 9:31 AM on July 23, 2007


Have you actually tried them with liver (I'd suggest maybe calf's liver, not human) and a nice Chianti?
posted by infinitywaltz at 9:38 AM on July 23, 2007


Stuffed lamb with pistachios, pureed fava beans, maybe some raisins? A little cinnamon maybe.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:39 AM on July 23, 2007


Have you tried just sauteeing them? They're lovely almost plain, with salt and pepper. (Boring, I know, but so good!)
posted by occhiblu at 9:39 AM on July 23, 2007


Favas are also good in a sort of primavera-style pasta dish with other delicate vegetables (baby carrots and zucchini, baby spinach, even mushrooms) and a light, lemony cream sauce or mustardy vinaigrette.

I also like them as an antipasto with fresh mozzarella or, even better, prosciutto, olive oil, and a little basil.
posted by mostlymartha at 9:39 AM on July 23, 2007


Make a puree of blanched favas, good quality olive oil, sauteed shallot, and parmigiano reggiano - shoot for a smooth, creamy consistency. Slather on fresh, warm, grilled sourdough baguette brushed with olive oil and top with a shaving or two of parm and fresh black pepper. Also, if desired, top with a slice of beefsteak tomato and a bit of sea salt.
posted by TryTheTilapia at 9:42 AM on July 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


There's also ful mudammas, an Egyptian breakfast staple which is sort of like a fava bean hummus with extra spices and ingredients.
posted by infinitywaltz at 9:48 AM on July 23, 2007


Last week I blanched some and served them over cous cous with fresh italian parsley.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 9:53 AM on July 23, 2007


I love them with a really good olive oil and corse salt, slightly warm.
posted by Eringatang at 10:20 AM on July 23, 2007


pair with thyme and garlic!
posted by Pants! at 10:21 AM on July 23, 2007


seconding trythetilapia--fava beans make a great spread--it actually looks and even tastes a bit like avocado. I actually prefer mine a bit chunky.
posted by alkupe at 10:38 AM on July 23, 2007


I make this with canned cannelloni beans, but it would be great with fava beans too.

White Bean Hummus
1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp white pepper
4 anchovy fillets
several generous glugs olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 15 oz cans white beans
2 generous handfuls basil, chopped


Drain beans and reserve liquid. Put garlic, pepper, anchovies, lemon juice, and olive oil in food processor and blend well. Add the beans, basil, and several tablespoons of the bean liquid. Pulse until you get the consistency you want, this should be fairly chunky. Pour into a bowl and adjust salt and oil. Refrigerate for at least several hours, preferably overnight. Serve with crusty bread and a little olive oil poured over the top.
posted by TungstenChef at 10:48 AM on July 23, 2007


Cook at slice or two of bacon until choppable. Chop bacon. Then quickly saute the fava beans in the bacon grease. Toss with chopped bacon and serve with a granish of itallian parsely and a few grinds . Yeah it's not healthy, but damn is it a good side dish.
posted by aspo at 10:56 AM on July 23, 2007


Falafel!
posted by browse at 11:21 AM on July 23, 2007


If you do end up making ful, as infinitywaltz suggested above, try serving it atop warm chickpea hummus with a hard-boiled egg and fresh pita.

Also: toss with fresh parsley, coarse salt, good canned tuna packed in olive oil, shaved parmagiano and cracked pepper. Serve over good crusty bread.

Also, also: if you braise lamb, which you should, add cooked and drained fava beans to the pan during the last hour of cooking, so they soak up the liquid in the pan without turning to complete mush.
posted by kosem at 12:55 PM on July 23, 2007


Another crostini recipe: fresh ricotta, whole fava beans (not mashed), lemon zest, and olive oil.
posted by robinpME at 2:52 PM on July 23, 2007


Blanche. Cool. Oil and vinegar. A little fleur de sel. Flnely shaved reggiano, or manchego, or cave-aged gruyere.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 3:42 PM on July 23, 2007


Are we talking fresh fava beans, the ones you peel out of their furry pods? (Isn't it entirely too late in the season for those? They're a typical spring thing here in italy...)

On the off chance your seasons are altogether different:
1. Fresh favas and pecorino. Pod the favas, then painstakingly remove their bitter outer skin (you could cheat by throwing them very briefly in hot water to facilitate this, but in my opinion it alters their flavour). Cut the rather fresh, still whiteish sheepsmilk cheese (some swear by Marzolino, other will venture toward slightly more aged varieties) into small cubes. Douse very liberally with excellent olive oil, salt and pepper. Serve as an an amuse-gueule. (A clever wine to have with this: Pecorino, an up-and-coming rediscovered white from Abruzzo.)
2. Vignarola. Necessarily includes lettuce (preferrably of the rather straight, savoury/mineral Romana variety, though other tasty cultivars will also work), fresh peas, artichokes, and, by my book, pancetta/bacon. Extra points for including wild asparagus, or immature green figs.

If it's dried fava beans you meant, few dishes are as intensely satisfying (especially in view of its dire poverty) as the Apulian Fave e Cicoria (though this recipe forgets to mention the garlic and peperoncino that I'd consider part and parcel of the original).

Buon appetito!
posted by progosk at 3:46 PM on July 23, 2007


You could gather some of your male friends who are either Black or Middle Eastern and see who hemolyzes their blood.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 4:27 PM on July 23, 2007


indeed, Jedi, some might fall at a mere waft of the pollen...

Lastly: Hi, I'm on Metafilter, and I could overeat a plate of beans.

posted by progosk at 4:41 PM on July 23, 2007


Are we talking fresh fava beans, the ones you peel out of their furry pods? (Isn't it entirely too late in the season for those? They're a typical spring thing here in italy...)

Yeah, the fresh ones. They've been all over the farmers' markets here in Portland, OR, USA for the last few weeks, so I suspect our growing seasons must be substantially different here.

Pod the favas, then painstakingly remove their bitter outer skin (you could cheat by throwing them very briefly in hot water to facilitate this, but in my opinion it alters their flavour)

I've never tried to remove the skin before blanching them. Maybe I'll try that. Seems like it would be a huge pain, especially considering how easy it is to remove them after a minute or two in boiling water...

That said, thank you all for the suggestions thus far. Any more would be greatly appreciated, although it seems unlikely that anyone "new" will be reading the question now that it's dropped off the front page of AskMe...
posted by dersins at 5:22 PM on July 23, 2007


I've never tried to remove the skin before blanching them. Maybe I'll try that. Seems like it would be a huge pain

It is positively mind-numbing. Not to be done alone unless you're masochistic about your meditation. (Also, some say real men don't peel them at all, but to me that's just evidence of tired taste-buds.) I find the blancheing often underscores something metallic in their taste.
posted by progosk at 5:31 PM on July 23, 2007


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