If you’ve ever eaten AND cooked with fresh favas, you know what I’m talking about. They’re super delicious, but a pain in the you-know-what to prepare. I only make them once a year, as a sort of spring treat to myself and the chosen few I share them with.

The reason favas are such a pain to prepare is that you have to peel them TWICE—Ugh!  The first peeling is super simple and a lot like shelling peas from their outer pod. The second peeling requires a little more work. You need to blanch the beans in boiling water for a minute or two, then run cool water over them and peel off the thin skin, which is surprisingly tough. Don’t even think of attempting this without blanching (trust me, I know from experience!). See below:


Having gone to all this work, you want to prepare a dish where the “fava” flavor really shines through. I often use them in simple pastas with parmesan and lemon, so I decided to do something similar today with Israeli couscous.

I peeled my favas. Blanched them. Peeled them AGAIN. Then I brought some chicken broth and water to a boil. I added some Israeli couscous, dried oregano, and chopped dried red chile (both the oregano and chile were leftover from our garden here at Sunset). I reduced the heat and let the couscous simmer, stirring occasionally, until it was tender and most of the liquid had evaporated. Then I stirred in some lemon zest, lemon juice, a little extra-virgin olive oil, some salt, and, of course, the favas. Delish!

See you next year my fava friend!

(P.S. If you haven’t tried Israeli couscous, here’s a great recipe.)

What do you like to do with favas?


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