I love, love, love fava beans.
I love to pick them when I have the chance. Lately they seem to be growing all over, or maybe I just know a lot of people with gardens! I love the process of peeling them. It's as close to meditation as I get. I love to eat them. They taste nourishing and fresh, earthy and bright.
I have just recently learned about these lovely little beans. I've only been eating them for two springs now, and I'm glad I caught on when I did. At first I was a little wary of these beans, because many people find them tedious to peel. Fava beans are often double-peeled, and this is most definitely a time-consuming task. But as I see it, part of the beauty of eating favas is embracing the process of peeling these pretty green jewels.
The process begins by first shelling the beans from the pod. I find this to be a magical task in and of itself, because the inside of the pod feels like fur. After removing all of the beans from their cozy pods, the next step is to then peel off each bean's outer layer of skin. Some people like to boil the beans for a short period of time, which makes the skin easier to slip off. I prefer to peel this layer off while the beans are still raw. I just use my fingernail to catch the skin and then remove it entirely. The second peeling step is optional to some cooks, but I feel that the favas generally taste their best when the outer skin is removed. The exception to this is when the beans are teeny tiny, and in that case I just pop them out of the pods, and pop them into the pan.
When I prepare favas, I don't do anything fancy to them. I like to throw them in whatever it is I'm cooking, such as soup, pasta, or a stir fry. I also like to simply saute them with a little seasoning and just eat them as is, or add them to a salad.
Spring has sprung! Fava fever's gonna get ya!