Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fava beans on fresh bread

Hannibal Lecter introduced me (and the rest of the world) to fava beans in Silence of the Lambs. And now that I've actually prepared them, I have to wonder if it was easier for him to harvest the liver from that census taker than to shell these gorgeous green beans. In the end, they're worth the effort. Harvested in that magic moment between spring and summer, they are the ultimate harbingers of wonderful things to come.


  • 1 lb fava bean pods

  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 oz pecorino Romano (optional)

  • 4 slices crusty bread


Step One

I believe that the fuzz-filled pod of a fava could be used to package delicate computer equipment. You first have to remove the beans from their padded resting place. Split the pod to reveal the beans. Then pull the beans out.

Step Two

Fava beans are doubly protected. To remove the second casing and reveal the full fava glory, blanche the beans in boiling water for about 30 seconds. Drain and cool to room temperature.

Step Three

Pull off the green stem, tearing the white casing. Then simply pop the fava out.

Step Four

Season the beans with olive oil, fleur de sal, and cracked pepper. To make it even more authentic Italian, or more specifically, Roman, add a bit of pecorino.

Step Five

Serve atop some fresh, crusty bread.

Effort: Medium
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 2 servings

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