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Hazan's "Roman style" fava beans... shelled, and then the skin?

nasv Apr 23, 2012 10:07 AM

Quick question for those more experienced with fresh fava beans and perhaps the "Roman style" version in her _Essentials_ book.

The one key step I notice missing from her recipe is that she doesn't mention removing that skin around the fava beans one removed from the pods.

The procedure is fairly straight forward, essentially, saute onions and pancetta, add shelled fava beans, toss and coat, add a little bit of water and cover for a few minutes, then when tender, salt them and serve warm.

Any thoughts here about the skin? Eat 'em?

Just curious... grazie,
-Nico

  1. Cheese Boy Apr 28, 2012 09:09 PM

    I prefer skinned favas (usually). The fava skin is NOT very toothsome and can be quite bitter.
    Try the same recipe with skinned favas and note the difference. Tender, sweet, results await.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Cheese Boy
      mbfant Apr 28, 2012 11:26 PM

      Yes, they are sweeter, but for the recipe the OP asked about they are completely inappropriate. If your favas are inedible without skinning, they are not good for that recipe.

      1. re: mbfant
        Cheese Boy Apr 29, 2012 09:13 PM

        Tough favas can certainly destroy an otherwise good recipe.

    2. h
      Harters Apr 28, 2012 01:43 AM

      I always skin broad beans (or favas as you call them).

      1. nasv Apr 27, 2012 12:52 PM

        In case anyone cares, for the archives...So I did not skin them and cooked them per the procedure I described - they were totally fine with skin-on :)

        4 Replies
        1. re: nasv
          n
          Nyleve Apr 27, 2012 05:17 PM

          Actually I was about to ask you to let us know how it turned out. I've planted a row of favas and need to be prepared for the results. In the past I've always skinned and then skinned again. But if I don't have to do that I'll be very happy.

          1. re: Nyleve
            nasv Apr 30, 2012 02:39 PM

            Yeah, you don't for this preparation, and while I did "notice" the skin, it wasn't unpleasant by any means!

          2. re: nasv
            mbfant Apr 28, 2012 08:56 AM

            Told you! If you skin them, they are no longer "Roman style." I've just made vignarola -- peas, artichokes, and favas together (cooked separately then combined), another Roman springtime specialty.

            1. re: mbfant
              nasv Apr 30, 2012 02:40 PM

              Vignarola?!? I shall do my research :)

              Thanks for sharing your insight here too - fave alla romana (sp?) was super good, will be in my weekly rotation while they last!

          3. nasv Apr 23, 2012 05:03 PM

            Thanks everyone - some divided answers, but I guess I'll try out the don't-skin-them as an attempt per the non-mention in the recipe and the experience of some here.

            They are from my local farmers market, and this past Sunday (yesterday) was the first time I'd seen them all year long.

            1. mbfant Apr 23, 2012 10:26 AM

              In Rome we never remove the skin -- or rather, only fancy restaurants do, but they don't serve this dish. It's a classic springtime dish made with larger beans (the early small ones are eaten raw, with skin). Now, I don't know if your favas are different from ours, but if they are similar you absolutely do NOT remove the skin.

              1. JoanN Apr 23, 2012 10:19 AM

                I adore fava beans, buy them as often as possible when they're in season, and never, ever, saw one that was edible with the skin on. Not saying they don't exist, just saying that in years and years of buying them, I've never been so lucky as to find any that didn't benefit significantly from having the skin removed.

                1. d
                  Deborah Apr 23, 2012 10:09 AM

                  If they are really young fava beans (spring ones) then you don't have to skin them.

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