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Fava Beans - Does the inner covering need to be removed?

  • p

I just bought fava beans for the first time. I looked at the recipes posted previously and I'm anxious to get started! I have a possibly silly question. Does the inner "skin" need to be removed before sauteing, tossing with a salad, etc? I thought I remembered reading something at one time that recommended this but I could be mistaken. If so, how would you recommend I do this? Blanch them and then peel the skin off? Or is this all unnecessary?

Thank you.

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  1. d
    Das Ubergeek

    I always remove the inner skin -- it makes them a lot less rubbery.

    I make a shallow slit with the tip of a paring knife in one of the "flat" sides of the bean, then peel from the slit. I can shell a pound of de-podded fava beans in about 20 minutes.

    Then, steam them just to al-dente and toss with a clove of garlic (minced), the leaves from a few stalks of fresh oregano, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

    1. Yes the skins should be removed. As the other poster mention you can use a small paring knife, I often just use my fingernail (after washing my hands of course)

      1. Yes, it's better if you remove them. You can parboil the beans for a couple minutes, then the inner shell will slip out real easily, then you can do whatever you want with the fava inside.

        1. Does the inner "skin" need to be removed before sauteing, tossing with a salad, etc?

          No, it can be eaten, BUT I suspect most Chowhounds would remove the skin for presentation. An analogy would be spanish peanuts.

          I eat Fava Beans the same way as nuts or edamame, I eat the "inner skin".

          1. Turn on Star Treck. Husband will look at you closely and decide to run errands.

            Remove beans from pod. Stop Star Treck with TIVO.

            Boil between 1-2 minutes depending on size. This allows you to remove the second skin which is unattractive but also not very tasty.

            Start Star Treck with TIVO.

            Pierce corner of fava and slip out bean. Repeat.

            You can use the beans now or braise gently in a little olive oil, garlic, and rosemary for a puree. Heat oil until boiling. Add beans and cook for five minutes. Let beans sit in oil for ten minutes. Process. Can be used on toast or as a ravioli filling.