I was thrilled when I found these at Lees Farmers Market. Fava beans, also known as broad beans, are a springtime crop that is grown and eaten around the world. One of the oldest known cultivated plants, fava beans date back to about 6000 BCE. You will find this legume abundant in Tuscany during the spring months. Tuscans grown them by the acre and eat them by the bushel, even without cooking them. I prepared the Fava beans by removing them from the shell, boiling them in salted water for 10 minutes, cooling in an ice bath and removing the outer skin for my recipe. As a southerner, I would compare these to Lima beans, which are MUCH easier to find. So if you are inclined to make this dish, you can certainly use them in place of Fava’s.
You will need:
2 cups prepared Fava beans ( as above) or canned Lima beans drained and rinsed
1 cup red onion chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Fresh dill minced
Coat bottom of pan with olive oil, heat and add garlic. Once garlic is light brown add onion and red pepper flakes. Cook for 5 minutes until onion softens and add beans. Sauté for 10 minutes and cover with water, just above the beans. Do not cover, simmer on low as water cooks down and beans absorb the liquid. Once liquid is gone, taste a bean. You want a soft but Al dente bite to it. If it tastes undone, add a bit more water and again once cooked down taste again. It should be done at this point. Salt to taste and toss in fresh dill.