Fava beans are a lot of work, and fairly expensive when you consider the amount of waste (a pound of beans in the shell yields about a cup of edible product). But are they worth it! They please the senses in so many ways: fresh, earthy and sweet at the same time, bright green, crunchy.
Fresh Fava Beans
1. Strip off the spongy outer pods to expose the beans. Discard pods.
2. Blanche the beans for about 30 seconds in a generous amount of salted, rapidly boiling water and remove immediately to an ice water bath to stop the cooking.
3. Strip off the tough outer skin of each bean (sometimes you have to nick it with a small sharp knife to open it up).
4. If desired, blanch for one minute in rapidly boiling salted water, then remove to an ice water bath and drain.Fava beans are best when allowed to stand front and center in the dish. My favorite way to serve them is to mix them with a little peeled, seeded and chopped fresh tomato (in a 2:1 proportion, beans to tomatoes), some olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, a few strands of fresh sweet onion and some minced parsley or basil. Serve this over homemade linguine or tagliatelle, with a scattering of shredded parmeggiano reggiano and you'll be happy you did.