Grilled fava beans are soooo last year. Everyone was doing it. Fancy pants restaurants, Top tier magazines, big league food blogs. I mean, everyone who is anyone in the food world grilled up some fava beans.
I didn’t. Nope, not me. I stuck to the good ol’ fashioned, painstakingly intensive process of peeling, blanching, and peeling again, only to watch my big bounty of favas turn into a measly little pile of small beans. Pretty much enough for me, and maybe my 3-year-old niece.
I really wanted to grill fava beans. Every time I plucked a tiny bean from its shell I cursed my crappy backyard grill. Stupid grill. If you didn’t almost burn my house down I’d be eating favas instead of trying to dislodge them from under my fingernails.
My grill still doesn’t work. But my broiler does–and it produced smooth, tenderly steamed beans inside of smoky, charred pods. There’s no way grilled favas are better than this. There’s no way being homeless from trying to grill favas is better than this.
It may sound gross, but eat the whole thing. Pop the beans from their fuzzy home and then finish off the empty pod. I didn’t believe it either, but I caught my friend George fishing pods out from the compost pile and figured it must be worth it. It was (but judge for yourself. If you have other nasty stuff in your compost, this is probably a bad idea.)
I can’t believe I ate favas in 10 minutes flat and didn’t even step outside. Or set anything on fire. I guess that means I win.
I almost forgot! A reader of mine grows fava beans in Berkeley, and emailed me asking for recipes. Help him use up his stash by leaving a comment with your favorite fava dish (extra points if it doesn’t have cheese.)
Garlicky Broiled Fava Beans
Cook time: 10 min
Fava Beans (the amount depends on how many people)
A few garlic cloves put through a garlic press
Extra-virgin olive oil
Course sea salt (and whatever spices you like: cumin, black pepper, a bit of cayenne, smoked paprika…)
Preheat your broiler.
Line a baking sheet with foil and spread out your fava beans. Drizzle on olive oil and salt. Set the tray about 5-7 inches from the heat source. If it’s too close, your pods will burn before the beans cook.
Broil for 5 minutes, and flip the beans. You may need to shuffle them around a bit too if some are cooking before others. Cook for 5 more minutes. When pods are nicely charred, they’re done.
Remove, and toss in a large bowl with crushed garlic, a little more olive oil and course sea salt. Eat with your hands.
Where I Shopped:
Fava Beans: Oakland Farmers’ Market, Temescal