Funky Favas

on Friday, May 6, 2011

I've never grown fava beans before... the seeds alone look very strange... I can't wait to see what the plants look like. I've been reading conflicting information on when to plant them. Before final frost or after was the big issue. We're still a few weeks before the average last frost, but we'll have to see how tough they are. I went ahead and interplanted them with the barely growing tatsoi, which I was really looking forward to, and may still take off... but just in case they're a waste of space, hopefully the fava beans will be a success.

From what I've read, fava beans (also known as broad beans) are supposed to be a very different taste from regular green beans. Definitely a stronger flavor, and one source implied a touch of bitterness. If picked really young you can cook the whole pod, like a snow pea. Allowed to mature a bit more and you shell them and cook the beans you pop out of the pod. Allowed to go even longer and I guess they're good, but you need to remove the outer skin from each bean (think lima beans?).

I feel like I haven't really seen fava (or broad) beans listed in too many of the US cookbooks I've read, but it seems like they appear in every British cookbook I have. If they do well, I'll have to include some preparation techniques and recipes here.
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