Thursday, June 21, 2007

Preparing Fresh Fava Beans

The CC simply loves fava beans, and can eat them fresh or dried all day long.

In the summer, of course, there's no substitute for the fresh variety.

In the interest of perfectionism in the culinary arts, here's how to prepare them. Perhaps this is obvious to every child in the Mediterranean but the CC didn't grow up there.

These are definitely demanding beans but they are worth it!

Firstly, understand the scale. Five pounds of fresh fava beans will barely yield enough for a "green" risotto. This is because the pods are heavy, and the skin over the fava bean (which is also discarded) is also heavy.

Peal the beans off the pods. Yes, this is boring. Deal!

In a pot of salted boiling water, dump the beans. If they are small, boil for less than 3 minutes; for larger ones, no more than 5 minutes. (These times are crucial!)

Drain, and immediately dump them in a bowl of heavily iced water. When they are cool (less than a minute); immediately drain the water (otherwise they will get soggy. Try and dry them as best you can.

At this point, you can just pop the beans out of the skin. They will be slimy, so wash them once more, and dry immediately (otherwise they will get soggy too!)

Fresh fava beans!

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