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Feb 27, 2007 09:57 AM

fresh baby fava beans in the pod: recipes please

I bought about 1/2 a kilo of baby fava beans in the pod at the market today and would love to get some recipe suggestions. I prefer to keep them in the pod. Last week I blanched them, then cooked in an omelet (greek style-no cheese, feta on the side) and they were divine. Any suggestions?

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  1. My favorite way to eat fresh fava beans is to lightly sautee them with olive oil, salt, garlic, and lemon zest then finish with a grating of Parm cheese and a squirt of lemon juice. So simple and so tasty!

    3 Replies
    1. re: leanneabe

      Do you shell them, or do you suggest to sautee them in the pods? If so, should I blanch first?

      Really looking for a recipe that uses the pods. They are so delicious, and since they are baby favas, the pods are very tender, would be a shame to waste.

      1. re: E.Kolliopoulos

        I've never had baby fava beans to cook, so I've never cooked the pods. I usually shell them AND remove that skin around the bean, but I don't blanch them first. I just toss them into a pan with olive oil.

        If the pods are tender, though, you could probably do the same thing without shelling the beans. Maybe cut them up a little so they are more bite-size?

        1. re: leanneabe

          Thank you, I will let you know how it turns out, I had not thought of the lemon zest before. I wish I could find fresh tarragon in Greece, I think it would have been excellent.

    2. You are so lucky, not many of us come across the fava in this state unless we are growing them ourselves.
      One unforgettable treat I had years back was tender, baby favas lightly fried and salted and served as an amuse of sorts.
      I know, it's fried, so not something you want to do all of the time, but try it once, it really showcases this lovely morsel if you do a LIGHT batter and eat them while they're hot.
      I would think they'd translate well to stir fry too.

      4 Replies
      1. re: rabaja

        actually this is a great idea. Sometimes when I find them at the market, most are too big to use with the pods, this will be a great way to use the small handful or so I might gleen from the larger pile! There is a light batter people use here that uses soda water, I will definitely use this next time. There is nothing like the taste of the whole fava bean, and this is exactly the type of recipe that would compliment the clean green taste of the pod.

        Efkaristo (thank you) Rabaja.

        1. re: rabaja

          I did it, I tried the fried Fava pods, or broad beans. Very good, this sounds sooo strange, but the taste was a sort of corn tortilla taste. I suppose this is from the "cotton" in the pod. It was so good, and as you said "showcased" the taste of the broad bean.

          I found a recipe for stewed whole fava beans that I really liked; lemon, dill, onion garlic water. I kept back the most tender beans and a day later made the fried favas'. I used a batter with equal parts flour and soda water with stiff egg whites folded in after the resting period. Success.
          E. Kolliopoulos

          1. re: E.Kolliopoulos

            Sounds like you did everything right, glad it worked out so well for you. Now I need to hunt down some of those elusive, tiny favas...
            The stew sounds really interesting. Where the pods tender enough to chew right through? No string?

            1. re: rabaja

              When you are lucky enough to get them young, the string is not an issue, I should say too that this was served with a side of Greek yogurt. To come close to Greek style yogurt use on part strained whole milk yogurt to one part sour cream. I served it on the side and it was luscious with the fava's, tender and had the the surprise of the fava bean inside, cooked perfect, al dente. Think Zots for adults!

        2. I love fresh favas. Have never thought of eating the shells...maybe I'll play around with the baby ones when they come in this year. I think this is probably my favorite way with favas: Shell and peel the outer skin (on larger/older beans), blanch for a couple of minutes, until I get the desired tenderness, drain well, and toss with a little extra virgin olive oil, salt, and fresh thyme. Light hand all around. Lovely side dish, or, as some friends and I did one weekend...just kept a big bowl on the kitchen counter and snacked on them, like they were peanuts.

          1. I always blanch in the skin (unless they're new and don't need blanching), then toss with olive oil, a smashed garlic clove, some lemon, hot dried pepper, and salt. Sometimes I mash a little, sometimes not. Great with crusty bread.

            Also I once made a fava bean pesto: blanched beans shelled, pureed or mashed with basil, oil, salt, pepper, garlic. Leave some of the beans whole for texture. Made a great sauce for tagliatelle.

            1. Thank you both Kagey and Old Spice. Both I will try, as the Fava'skeep getting better looking every week I go to the public market (or laiki here). Will report back the results.