Fava Beans got a bad rap in Silence of the Lambs. They are delicious and adorable. When you get the over-sized pod, run your thumbnail down the seam to open it up. You’ll find large, bright green beans nestled in their little fuzzy jacket, looking ready for a ski trip. Use your thumb to shuck them out. Once you’ve got a little pile of semi-naked beans, toss them into a pot of boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Drain and run cool water over them so you can handle them once more. Make a prick with your fingernail in the now white skin, squeeze the bean between your thumb and forefinger and out pops the cheery green bean, that has a smooth texture and unbeatable flavor. The final step is to sautee the bright ones with olive oil and garlic and gobble them up. You can also smash and sautee with garlic only to be spread on a crostini with pecorino. Delightful.
Green Risotto with Fava Beans
This got a 2 thumbs up ?@ my dinner table!
1 pound fresh, unshelled fava beans
4 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, shell the favas and discard the pods. Boil the favas for 4 minutes, strain and then immediately plunge into ice water. Let cool for 2 minutes then pierce the favas and squeeze them out of their skins. Separate 1/2 of the favas and puree in a food processor.
In a separate large saucepan bring the broth to a simmer, and keep it hot. Meanwhile, in another large saucepan over medium heat, melt 1.5 tablespoons of the butter and add the onions. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes; do not brown the onions. Add the rice and cook, while stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine, increase the heat to medium, and stir constantly. When the wine has been absorbed, add a little of the hot stock. Once the stock is absorbed, add a little more; repeat this process, stirring constantly, until the rice is cooked through.
To the cooked rice add the pureed favas, the remaining 1.5 tablespoons of butter, the rest of the favas and the cheese. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the butter and cheese melt and the puree is incorporated evenly. Season with salt.