It’s been a long time since I’ve had a CSA. My mum joined one this year and often forgets to pick it up. Which means a phone call to me at the end of the day on Wednesday asking me to go pick it up. Of course I do. For a fee. The fee being, naturally, some of what she has received for the week. A few weeks ago she was away and in return for picking up the bag, I got all the produce.
In it were these.
Know what they are? I’ll give you a hint, Hannibal Lecter made them famous by saying he ate them as a side dish along with a nice chianti.
Fresh fava beans are a bit of a pain to get to but in the end, I assure you they are worth it. They look like lima beans but are nowhere near as mealy in texture and they have a nice, green taste, if that makes sense. A bit bitter and tart but not overly so. I ended up making a sort of succotash with mine and it was quite tasty. The sweetness of the corn balanced nicely with the beans.
Fresh Fava Bean Sauté
about 1-2 pounds of fresh fava beans
2-3 ears of sweet corn
1/2-1 sweet onion
Prepare your fava beans. This will take some time. Get comfy.
First, you need to remove the hard outer shell which is somewhat fuzzy inside. I tried this two ways. You can use your knife to widen the slit down the middle.
Then pry it open with your fingers.
Sort of time shuck the beans out into a bowl.
The easier way to remove the beans, is to snap off the top part that has the stem.
Then pull it down to the bottom of the pod and the string that comes with it will make it easier to separate the bean pod.
While you’re doing this, set a pot of water on to boil.
Once all the beans are out of the fuzzy pod, add them to the water. Let them boil for about a minute and then take them out.
Let them cool for a minute or two and then you’ll be able to sort of pop the bean out of the waxy coating.
Do that for all of them.
Now you can use them for whatever you’d like. I made this sort of succotash, as I said.
In a saute pan, melt a bit of butter and some oil- no more than a tablespoon of each. Peel and chop your onion and add it to the pan. Let it get soft and melty. Meanwhile, shuck your corn and add it to boiling, well-salted water. Let it cook for a few minutes (it’s awful, I never time my corn! I think it’s 4-5 minutes?) and then take it out to cool. Cut the kernels off (there is no non-messy way to do this so just give in and make a mess) and then add them and the fava beans to the onion.
Season with whatever you like- salt and pepper for sure and maybe some garlic powder (or throw in some minced fresh garlic if you have it) or other spices that would compliment your meal (cumin and chili powder if you’re going Mexican, for example). Let it cook a bit so that bits of it get a nice brown color.
I served mine along with soy balsamic duck and a corn risotto. The risotto (which I improvised) and the duck (which I overcooked) were not good. This fava bean succotash was. Make it today!