One of the things I love about getting a CSA share every year is the chance to not only get reasonable organic produce (and support local farmers and agriculture) but that it also forces me to try new things. Fava beans were included in last week's share, and I was instantly intrigued as I have never had them. (please, reserve the "chianti" jokes - my husband already wore those out while I was cooking) I couldn't figure out what to do with them, so they languished in my refrigerator for a few days until I decided today was the day to give them a try.
Wow. First of all, fava beans are tasty! It's hard to describe the flavor - it's almost lima bean-esque, but has a sweeter flavor. This recipe is super easy to make and can easily be made in about 20 minutes, from start to finish. The beans are blanched for a few minutes and then tossed in a wonderful vinaigrette. I was pleasantly surprised at how wonderful it tasted and I can guarantee I'll be looking forward to the next time fava beans make an appearance in my CSA share.
Herbed Fava Beans
1 1/2 pounds fava beans in shells, or 1 cup shelled
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fennel seed
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Heat a pot of water over a stove until boiling. In the meantime, shell fava beans. When water is boiling, add fava beans and boil for 3 minutes, until they are bright green. Remove from water and toss into ice cold water until cool. Strain well and remove beans from their little skins (you'll be able to see this easily after they are cooked) In a jar, combine remaining ingredients and add strained beans. Shake well and either serve immediately or store in the fridge.