Monday, July 18, 2011

More Fun with Favas

Contributor Jim Dixon of RealGoodFood knows a good thing when he reads it, and Anthony Boutard's recent rant about favas goaded him into action. I think he's onto something!

Grilled Fava Beans

I’d read about grilling favas for a few years, but didn’t try it until after reading this screed from Anthony and Carol Boutard of Ayers Creek Farm:

“The American food establishment has deemed that favas are edible only when the seeds are peeled. In our experience shelling the beans raw, then blanching and peeling the seeds is tedious and unnecessary, and robs this amazing vetch of much of its flavor, nutritional value and fiber. Worse yet, a simple, hearty staple has become a fussy, special occasion food, and a daunting one at that.”

I was guilty of promoting the shuck, blanch and peel again approach, and the Boutards’ advice is unfailing, so I decided to follow it. Mostly anyway. They go on to suggest 12 minutes of boiling in heavily salted water. But the Weber was lit, there was a pile of favas and I tossed them on the grill, pods and all.

I turned them enough to get the exteriors pretty charred, then pulled open the blackened pods, swiped the unpeeled beans through extra virgin olive oil and flor de sal and ate. Amazingly good, and there is a lot more flavor.

The process is a bit messy, so I’d suggest doing this when you’re eating outside (like that’ll ever happen). Grill a few pounds for a party, put them on a big platter, and let everybody peel and eat.


Joan Cirillo said...

jim says peel and eat but do you know that you can eat the whole pod? It's'll want to discard the stringy part but the pod has lots of flavor. Joan Cirillo

Kathleen Bauer said...

Wow…didn't know about the pod! I'll have to give it a try. Thanks, Joan!