How NOT to Cook Fava Beans

March 1, 2011 10:19 am

Peeling cooked fava beans

A few months back Matty and I picked up a one-pound bag of dried fava beans. As with most beans, they’re high in protein and fiber, while being low in fat, sugar, and sodium (unless added!).  Favas are also a good source of vitamins and minerals (especially folate, manganese, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron).

The directions on the bag said they did not need to be soaked and merely to “Cook until soft.”  We did a bit of googling, but most of the recipes we found called for fresh favas, and we didn’t have much luck finding more specific directions.

Turns out, if you go straight from bag to boiling, you’ll be waiting about three hours for those beans to get soft. That’s not the real problem, though: They have a tough outer shell that you’ve got to get rid of somehow. We boiled them until the bean inside was very soft, but the shell didn’t really loosen up much.  So to get at the morsels inside, we Matty had to painstakingly, bean by bean, peel them apart by hand (I was busy taking photos, naturally).  It was a messy process.

Peeling Cooked Fava Beans

Turns out what we should have done was ignore the vague directions on the package, and instead soak the beans overnight.  Then, after the soaking, it would have been far easier to peel them (still have to go one at time, though!).  After peeling, it would have taken only about an hour or so to cook the beans the rest of the way.

Fava Bean Shells

Even so, our Rosemary Fava Bean Pate turned out quite lovely.  Click over to Matty’s blog for the recipe and his take on the fava experience.

Fava Bean Pate

22 Comments on "How NOT to Cook Fava Beans"
  1. .
    May 2, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    […] EatingRules.com: How not to cook (dried) fava (eatingrules.com/2011/03/how-not-to-cook-fava-beans) […]

  2. .
    July 11, 2014 at 8:16 am

    […] are going to want your dried fava beans to be peeled or they will never. ever. cook. These poor souls suffered the same fate I did. To peel dried fava beans, you can soak them overnight, then boil them […]

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