I have the secret. That’s right, THE secret to fast, tasty and so impressive fava beans that you can do right on your barbeque and all your friends will think you are like some brilliant culinary master.
Grill ’em! Grill ’em whole and eat them! Pod and all!
(And yes, I did get tipped off on this brilliant idea from one of the several amazing restaurants I sell too. I think Eli at the Walrus and Carpenter in Ballard was the first chef that told me about this. He clued me in when I asked him how long it was taking his dishwashers to shell the 50+ lbs of fava beans he was getting from me every week!)
Most anybody who has enjoyed fava beans – and they are a seasonal culinary treat – complains about the two-step process in preparing them. Now as far as I’m concerned, after about 4 to 6 months of growing the plant, weeding and then harvesting them, if you can’t take a little bit of time in your kitchen to prepare a special, wonderful seasonal treat then fine, give up now and go get dinner at Mickey D’s!
So if you want the bean only you must first shell if from the pod, and then blanch it quickly in hot water and then pop the brilliant green bean out of its inner wrapping. Beth at Bayleaf explains very well how to do that (and with a great fava bean salad recipe to boot) in her blog right here….http://bayleaf.us/2013/06/26/fabulous-favas/ And it is well worth the extra time, shelled fava beans are a glory upon themselves. (and I recently discovered my two daughters are getting pretty fast at shelling them! Yeah).
However….there is this second quick and easy option to enjoying fava beans. IF you are lucky enough to be able to buy them from a local source where they are picked fresh and tender and often (like today at the Bayview and Coupeville farmer’s markets!). So here goes…
Grilled Fava Beans in Shell
* About 2 lbs of favas (figure about 1/4 to 1/2 lb favas for every person, they are like chips, hard to stop eating, so get enough!). Young, tender beans with bright green pods and not firmly filled out are best for this dish.
* Couple tablespoons of olive oil, or enough to coat the beans
* Couple tablespoons of kosher or sea salt
* Fresh lemon
Toss the fava beans with the olive oil and salt til evenly covered. Place in one layer on grill. Using tongs, flip when they shell starts blackening. Beans are done when they pods seem soft. Place in serving dish, squeeze with a bit of fresh lemon in you like. Serve and enjoy! They are good both hot and cold, so great summer grilling dish.
So…enjoy some fa-fa-favas with Fourth of July grilling this week. And a glass of Chianti pairs well too (not sure where I heard that from, hmm….).
We will have loads of other goodies at the farmer’s market today as well. Both Coupeville and Bayview are open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (although if you miss the market, The Goose down in Bayview is carrying our favas right now as well!). Also coming to market today:
* Head Lettuce * Arugula * Kohlrabi * True new potatoes * Scallions * Baby Wallas with greens * Radishes * Salad Turnips * Kale * Chard * Cabbage * Broccoli * Beet Thinnings * Beets w/ greens * Carrot bunches * Korean Daikon (great for kimchi!) * Fresh Garlic * Garlic Scapes * Spinach * Parsley * Artichokes * Raab * Dry Beans * Basil * Summer Squash * Shelling Peas * Sugar Snap Peas * Snow Peas * Lettuce Mix * Bulb Fennel…and more! (good list, no???)
Hope to see you there!
Farmer Georgie, Willowood Farm of Ebey’s Prairie