How to Prepare Fava Beans


Immortalized by a line in a movie, fava beans have a spot in both pop culture and dinner plates around the world. Fresh fava beans take more effort to prepare than frozen or canned, but their flavor has no equal in the canned vegetable aisle. Not only must you remove the beans from their pod, but the inner beans still have an outer shell that you must take off before you can eat them. Take advantage of the healthful benefits and delicious taste of fava beans harvested from your garden tonight. Serving Chianti with them is optional.

Step 1

Look for fava beans 8 to 9 inches long, with bright green, taut skin. Pick these off of the plant in your garden or from the produce bin at the market.

Step 2

Grasp the tip of the fava bean, and gently tug it to remove the string from the back side of the pod.

Step 3

Run your thumb along the inside of the pod to dislodge the beans.

Step 4

Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat.

Step 5

Drop the beans into the water and parboil them for 1 full minute.

Step 6

Drain the beans through a colander.

Step 7

Take a single fava bean between your thumb and forefinger, and press on it to push the bean out the end from the inedible bean covering.

Step 8

Repeat with the remaining beans until all the fava beans have been shelled.

Step 9

Heat a pot of water to a boil again over medium-high heat.

Step 10

Transfer the shelled and parboiled beans to the boiling water, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender.

Step 11

Pour the contents of the pot through a colander to drain, rinse with water and serve immediately or use in a recipe requiring fava beans.


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Keywords: cook fava beans, skin fava beans, shell fava beans

About this Author

Athena Hessong began her freelance writing career in 2004. She draws upon experiences and knowledge gained from teaching all high school subjects for seven years. Hessong earned a Bachelor's in Arts in history from the University of Houston and is a current member of the Society of Professional Journalists.