After countless hours (literally) of peeling fava beans, my verdict is this: so not worth it.

…Ok, maybe I’m being a little harsh. To be fair, I got some misinformation on the best way to peel them. The source I used (which I will not name) said that one should soak them for four hours or overnight, boil them for 10 minutes, then, once cooled enough to touch, one could simply squeeze them out of their shells. Not the case. After soaking them overnight, the shells actually got quite soft. Though they were peeling, it was taking a lot of effort so I thought I would take the extra effort and do the quick boil. Bad idea. The beans had absorbed so much water from the soak that after 10 minutes of boiling they actually softened too much, making it all the more difficult to peel. When I finally finished the peeling, I had to finish cooking them, so I got them in a pot with vegetable stock, onion, carrot, and some fresh herbs. While very flavorful, nearly every bean fell apart during the cooking process, leaving me with a large mound of bean fragments. Irritating to say the least. I blame the extra boiling.

So I took half of the beans and made a sort of stew with porcini mushrooms, sage, some creminis, and asparagus. It was fine, but nothing really worth posting here. The real payoff came in the form of making hummus. Yes, fava bean hummus. I put about 3 cups of cooked beans in my food processor, added in a scoop of almond butter (tahini is waaaayyy too expensive), a scoop of veganaise, 3 cloves of garlic, a handful of fresh dill, a handful of fresh basil, paprika, two tablespoons of olive oil, about 1/4 cup of the cooking stock, lots of salt and pepper, and a couple dashes of Tabasco sauce. Blended it together and created a really outstanding dip that I’ve been eating with fresh vegetables. Yum.

Would I do this again? Perhaps. If only to try the process without the unnecessary boiling/soaking and see if the beans actually retain their shape. And honestly, it would be worth making more of this hummus. My friend Eric tells me that fresh favas, found in green pods, while equally obnoxious to peel, have a totally different flavor than the dried ones. Would be interesting to explore this difference… but I think I’m done with favas for a while… at least for now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Enjoy the weekend everyone, fall is here and I’ve got some tasty fall treats coming your way!

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2 comments

Michael Pizzi October 12, 2012 - 5:18 pm

Live & learn, Dave. The hummus sounds good! I know the Starving Artist doesn’t mind prep work for a good dish but 4 plus hours just to peel the damn things is a bit much…

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Michael Pizzi October 12, 2012 - 5:23 pm

By the way, I meant yo tell you that I just loved the title of this post!

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