Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bean There, Done That: Favas Part 2

Foray into Favas: a Two-Part Blog
Meet the Bean: Vicia Faba 
Part 1.
I am trying out fava beans (Vicia Faba) from scratch for the first time! Fussy little beans, I'd say. First you need to shell them. Not quite like shelling peas, with a simple crack of the pod and the thumb-slide to release the peas - favas seem to require a bit more wrestling, and then once you get them shelled, they need to be hand-peeled. Every bean. Seriously.

Favas: just shelled.
Luckily, despite the size of the pods, the bean yield - from a great big bag - is pretty small. Of course, once you peel them (a complicated, delicate process involving a quick boil, an even quicker cool and a poke and peel method that requires a high degree of manual dexterity - these babies are slippery!) the yield is even smaller. *SIGH* Don't get me wrong. I love my legumes, but favas are high maintenance. A bean beyond, you might say.

Naked favas. Worth the effort?
I'm making an upscale version of 'Pork n' Beans', a childhood standby and a summer staple as far as I'm concerned. One of my all-time favourite summer meals is potatoes and onions  baked in foil in the campfire, steak grilled over same, and cold canned beans on the side. Flying ash from the firepit as garnish! Oh well.

Since I'm eating clean these days, the uber-convenient can o' beans is way off the list (not to mention potatoes and flyash) so I decided to whip up my own creation.

The plan: Fresh favas from the Farmers Market, simmered with the bone from leftover pork roast (organic, natch) then sautéed with onions and garlic (lots of garlic). Add basil and thyme from the garden and fresh diced tomatoes. A bit more voila!

The outcome: 
Stay tuned for Part 2. I'm wiped from the shelling and peeling. I'm putting the batch together later.

To find out more about Vicia Faba click the link.

Sufferin' Succotash! 
These Beans Rock. 
Part 2.

Results: Yummy.

A bit more like high-end succotash, than my fondly remembered P&Bs, the favas simmered in the pork broth, flavoured up with garlic, onions, tomatoes, thyme, bay leaf and basil were really delicious. I added diced pork (from the leftover roast) and also diced up some leftover roast squash - a nice hit of creamy sweetness that really complimented the beans. The beans? A lot of effort, but worth it.

Favas fully dressed. Worth it. This time.

Would I do favas from scratch again? Hmmm. Hard to say. I really love them, but I have a feeling they'll fall into the same category as roast duck - one of my faves, and just too fussy for me to make at home.

Perfect, though, for ordering in restaurant. And one thing I know I can make is reservations!

It's bean fun. I'd love to hear your fava stories!

Side note:
These beans travel well and taste great cold (just like the ol' canned ones). We had the leftovers at a picnic in the local park today. Hubby and I both longed for more...

Favas on a picnic. Have tupperware. Will travel.


  1. Hmm, fava beans...Hannibal Lecter "I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti". Joking aside, fava beans are delicious but I didn't know how much work. Tiring just thinking about it. I guess there would be no snacking while shelling and peeling for these babies (can you eat them like peas from the pod?). I doubt that even with my new found interest in cooking I would want to do this. You are a trooper and I bet the end result is going to be well worth it.

  2. Love the connection to Hannibal Lecter! One creepy dude, but must say I loved that role. Favas (at least at the size and stage I had, aren't good raw eating. Of course, I tasted them - peeled + unpeeled. Pretty bitter (+ tough) with the skins still on, slightly better once peeled.

  3. Looks yummy and I like that they can be eaten cold the next day too. I cooked up some, all organic, quinoa, oats, dried fruit and nut mix and a little molasses to try out make ahead breakfast cereal. Supposed to be good up to 4 days. Wondering why not 5 days, what will I do on Fridays? Had some with fat free greek yogurt and fresh blueberries this morning. Good protein start to the day. Quite good but I didn't need the molasses.

  4. o, yum! Please post a recipe (on your blog, perhaps - hint: time for you to start one about your food adventures!)