Rumor has it they’re incredibly hard to shell, so I’ve avoided fava beans in the past. As it turns out I was worried over nothing. You have to do a little work to get to these gorgeous legumes, but it’s worth it.
Shelling Fava Beans
You have to do double duty to get to the good stuff: Mature fava beans are tucked inside an inedible pod and tough outer skin that both need to be removed. Inside these layers you’ll find tender and buttery beans that are high in protein, fiber and iron.
Cooking Them Up
To prepare, remove beans from pod and blanch in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes; transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking. Peel away the thick outer skin to reveal the emerald green edible portion (here are the step-by-step instructions).
Then, dig in – toss with rice, pasta and salads or saute with olive oil, garlic and some fresh red chilies.
Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »