As you can imagine, a bean that has been around since 6000 bc, has a rich folklore attached to it. The Italians have a tradition of planting on All Souls Day, November 2nd. They are carried for good luck, and in ancient Greece and Rome were used to cast a vote.
They are also said to contain high levels of L-dopa, which is good for your brain. Good for you, no doubt! Delicious and filled with a sense of preparation pageantry, for sure! They do take a little bit of extra prep…they are giant pods first of all. You must shell them, then blanch for 1 minute, and peel them out of the skins. After all the work I wanted my recipe to showcase the fava. There are several listed in the recipe section, but here is my favorite.
Fava, Feta & Olio
2-3 pounds fresh fava beans
medium slices of a good feta cheese (that Israeli feta from Trader Joes is fabulous)
chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
freshly ground pepper
extra virgin olive oil
shell and blanch favas for about 1 minute
place in to ice bath
pop out of skins
Toss everything together and let marinate for a few minutes. Serve with a yummy nutty bread or olive loaf.
You’ll need to ask for them at the farmers market right away, because the season is coming to an end.