Friday, May 14, 2010

Are We Kidding Here?

I picked up my CSA food on Wednesday and decided that I'd like to try the fava beans to the excess. Typically there is enough of one vegetable to feed about 4 people for a good meal,  so I thought I'd get double of them and trade out another of my vegetables. That way we could all try them out on Sunday when I have many family visitors for dinner.
I had heard that they are tender and mild tasting, so this is my opportunity to try them.

Season: April to June
Fava beans have been cultivated for millenia and are an integral part of the cuisines of Asia, Northern Africa, and Europe. Fava is derived from the Italians, where they are featured in pastas and salads. The Chinese ferment it with soy to create a rich bean paste. Egyptians consume it as a fast food dish called ful madumas, cooked with salt and cumin. The easiest (and most social) way to eat fava beans is to shell them from the pod, parboil them for a minute in their skins, take them to the table with their skins on, and have everyone sit around popping them out of their warm skins, and eating with thin shavings of good parmesan.
These legumes are also known as broad, field, horse, or windsor beans. The long flat pods grow up to 18” long and yield 3-12 beans per pod. These beans contain about 25% protein, 2% fat and 50% carbohydrates.
While fava beans are good for human consumption, they also provide a beneficial role in agricultural production. Fava beans are frequently grown as cover crops, to prevent erosion of soil and increase nitrogen fixing in the soil. (Nitrogen is one of the main elements in industrial fertilizers). They also produce a lot of organic matter to enrich soils, leading some farmers to consider them “green manure.”
You can enjoy these beans year round in dried form, but for the next few months, fresh fava beans are readily available. They are best consumed when young and tender; choose with firm pods with bright green hues. For a taste of spring, try them in this pasta dish
So when I got to my car with my new produce,  I handed 
Ellery one of the beans from inside the pod.
She didn't want to try it, so I stuck it in my mouth and 
chomped down on it.
Now, I typically like just about anything, so it is rare for me
to react like I did. I have to find out how to prepare these 
puppies. It is obvious I'm gonna have to cook them or 
something. They are not supposed to be eaten raw.

So I went to the website to figure it out.

After shelling the beans you have to cook them and then 
shell each individual bean again.
Seriously.  I have other things to do.
I haven't got Michael's memory board done, organized the
BBQ for Grad Night, made his t-shirt quilt, or a miriad of 
other things for other people in my life. Plus, I was 
expecting guests in a few hours.
Here I am shelling beans for an hour.

Then I have to blanch them.
Then I have to shell each individual one again.
So I spent about 2 hours of my precious time in the name of nutrition and organic food, which I semi don't think much of, in order to eat dinner.
(Do you like my new Fiesta Ware?)
It was pretty good, but .....



  1. that sounds ridiculous! i'm just glad e didn't end up trying it :)

  2. Yep, that's a bit much. I'm not sure I would have had the patience, and my hat's off to you!


  3. PS. Your blog looks WONDERFUL!


  4. NOT sign me up for that one. I now know to never purchase fava beans. Thanks for the tip!

  5. wow that is a lot of work. Were they any good after being cooked or was it a total waste of time?