Fava Beans

One of our wonderful volunteers Katherine, a chef from San Francisco, always has some new and inventive way of how to cook the specialty items that we grow.

Here are some of her suggestions of how to use fava beans:


Grilled Fava Beans

1 lb. fresh fava beans in the pods, rinsed
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Optional seasonings: scallion (thinly sliced), crushed red pepper, lemon zest, fresh herbs, sesame seeds…

Light a grill. In a large bowl, toss the fava bean pods with the olive oil. Grill the favas over high heat. Turn frequently until pods char and begin to burst open (about 7 to 10 minutes). If you aren’t sure when to pull them off, take a pod off the grill, open and taste one of the beans. You want the fava beans to be smooth and creamy when you pop them out of their skins.  Return the pods to the bowl and toss with salt and seasonings as desired.  To eat: tear open the puffy green pods (these can also be eaten if you like), take a fava bean, pinch the skin and slide the bright green fava from its slipper. Eat them one at a time and be sure to lick your fingers so that you get the seasonings from the outer pod.


Pasta with Fava Beans, Ricotta and Mint  ~ 4 servings

2 lb. fava beans in their pods
1 lb. pasta
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 T olive oil
½ C fresh mint, chopped
2 C ricotta cheese
1 C romano or parmesan cheese, grated

Pop the beans from their pods (you should end up with about 2 cups) and cook them in deep boiling salted water until tender (5-7 minutes depending on size and freshness).  Drain the beans, shock in ice water to maintain color and drain again.  Remove the outer peel from any beans bigger than your thumbnail. Tiny beans will have a thin skin that is perfectly edible.
Cook pasta in a deep pot of salted water, stirring often until cooked al dente.  Drain.
While pasta is cooking, sauté garlic in the olive oil over moderate heat for 5 minutes to soften without letting it color.  Stir the mint and fava beans into the garlic. Add the ricotta, in dollops. Add the hot pasta and salt and pepper to taste. Fold the mixture together lightly with a fork and serve topped with grated cheese. 


Fava Bean Dip with Goat Cheese

2 C shelled fava beans, 2-3 lbs in the pod. Cook and peel as in above recipe.
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 – 3 T olive oil
1 t lemon zest
2 T lemon juice
¼ C or more water
5 oz goat cheese

Lightly sauté garlic in 1 T of oil to soften, about 5 minutes. Place beans, garlic, lemon zest, juice and water in food processor.  Pulse until smooth.  Stream in a tablespoon or two more of olive oil while puréeing.  Scrape into a bowl and mix in the goat cheese until well combined.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with raw veggies (cucumber, jicama