These members of the pea family are at peak season now to July. Select firm, heavy pods that are free of markings and not too bumpy. Store them in a plastic bag in the crisper for up to a week. The most common way to prepare fava beans is to shuck the beans from the pod, blanch them, and peel the outer shell, revealing a bright-green, cooked bean. If the beans are young and tender, they can be grilled and eaten whole, too. Also:
- Purée boiled favas for a versatile hummus, spread on crostini, or bed for protein.
- Enhance the bean's tender, creamy consistency in a salad with olive oil and pecorino.
- Highlight the best the market has to offer with a fava, asparagus, and polenta bowl.
- Do as the Romans do and make a trattoria-style bean, pea, and artichoke stew.
- Save the leaves to eat raw in a salad medley or briefly sautéed in oil and garlic.
- Enjoy young and tender beans whole, charred from the grill and topped with Parmesan shavings.
Have you ever tried favas at a restaurant or prepared them at home? How did you enjoy them?