This may be the first time you read about fava beans, but if you learn what it is and how you can cook them, you may just find yourself cooking it every now and then and including it as a side dish more often. Fava beans have a really delicious and nutty flavor that more and more people are discovering.
Favas grow inside 8-inch-long pods that have a fuzzy interior encased in an inedible skin. The pods have to be in the right color, bright green, and the beans firm to touch. In cracking them open, you need to squeeze them gently and try to feel the beans in the pod to know that it is just the right size. Do not include the pods, which are yellowish in color, or those that are shrunken. These pods will turn out to be starchy with a bad flavor. The majority of pods contain between three to seven beans. In order to remove the outer covering of the beans, you have to break one end and then use your thumb in order to open it all together.
Combine all the beans in one container and dispose of the pods. Sometimes, it can be easier to peel the beans by parboiling them first. This is done by getting a big pot full of water and bringing it to a boil. Then put the beans in the pot, and let them cook until they are bright green. This happens in about 60-90 seconds. Immediately remove the pan from the stove, and then drain them with a colander. Run cold water through the beans in order to stop them from further cooking. Take off the skin that surrounds the beans, then slit the seam at one end, and the bean will naturally squeeze out as you put some pressure to it.
Fava beans can be used with meat stews or casseroles. The beans can be added to chopped carrots and onions as well as to some lamb recipes. It will also be delicious to fry some fava beans with a little sunflower oil and some chopped garlic, seasoned with pepper, salt and some white wine vinegar. You can also add some chopped cilantro/coriander leaf to flavor it a bit. Fava beans are clearly a good way of garnishing some of our dishes, or make it a dish by itself. You can also add them to tomato sauce and give your spaghetti a change. It is amazing what other ways you can think of to make fava beans a part of your menu cycle. They are nutritious, tasty and even filling.