Shelling Fava Beans


In our last CSA share we got a bunch of fava beans.  Neither of us have ever really eaten fava beans before but now that we have, I think that I like them and will have to find some recipes to use them in!  Fava beans come in a big, thick outer pod… so step one is shelling them like you would shell peas (except that the pods don’t break open quite as easily).  Inside the pod the beans (covered in a second dull green shell) are cushioned in a soft/fuzzy lining which is super neat and I wasn’t expecting that the first time I opened one. In step two you braise the beans.  Get a pot of lightly salted water boiling and dump the beans in.  Boil them for 2 minutes and then immediately drain them and either rinse them with cold water or plunge them into cold water.  Next, step three, peel off the second shell on the beans.  It should come off easily now leaving a bright green, smooth bean leftover that you can use in your recipes!  I haven’t really read alot about these beans yet but maybe there are other/better ways to cook them or eat them… but this worked well for us for the two meals we’ve eaten them in now.

A little blurry but from right to left: a whole fava bean outer shell, a fava bean with the dull-green inner shell still on, a twice-shelled, bright green fava bean ready to eat!  Each pod has 1-4 beans in them… most of ours had about 2 beans in them, many had only 1 bean and some had 3-4 beans in one pod.

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