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Fava bean pods are thick and spongy, containing 2 to 7 large, flat, bright green beans. While the fava pods are inedible, the beans are tender, with a sweet, mild flavor and are similar in shape to a lima bean. The bean's skin is thick and their texture can range from starchy to creamy depending on how they are prepared. The young leaves, shoots and flowers of the fava plant are all edible.
Fava beans are available year-round with a peak season in spring.
Fava beans may also be referred to as broad beans and are botanically classified as Vicia faba.
Fresh fava beans are often prepared with other spring vegetables, such as peas, asparagus and morel mushrooms. Their mild flavor and versatile texture can be added to salads and soups, or pureed into spreads and served as appetizers. Pair with fresh herbs, sheep's milk cheeses, citrus, pasta, cream or wine-based sauces, young greens such as spinach and pea tendrils, lamb and seafood.
In Crete fresh fava beans are shelled and eaten as companion to tsikoudia, a traditional Cretian alcoholic drink.
Fava beans are one of the oldest crops known, with their recorded cultivation extending into prehistoric times. A bean in name only, botanically the fava is a type of vetch. Like the bean, the vetch is also a legume but the vetch is a climbing or twining plant that prefers a cool moist climate and is even tolerant to a light frost, unlike the bean that thrives best in the heat of long and nurturing summer days.
Recipes that include Fava Beans. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Umami Girl||Spinach, Fava Bean and Quinoa Cakes|
|The Vintage Mixer||Fava Bean and Fennel Risotto with Sautéed Radicchio|
|Playful Cooking||Fava Beans And Shrimp Taco With Mustard Sriracha Aioli|