Every year, without fail, the fava beans are ready to pick the week leading up to Father’s Day.
So I invited Dad out to the garden on his side of the street for a pic yesterday afternoon.
Fava beans, or broad beans, are green legumes that come in pods.
Perhaps your only reference to fava beans is from Silence of the Lambs when Dr. Hanibal Lector calmly delivers this famous line
“I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.” It’s one of the most quoted lines in film history and appreciated for the malevolent calmness of Sir Anthony Hopkins’ delivery.
Don’t know about you but I loved that movie and it scared me good!
A 20 second walk out to the favas, they reside in the field near his house (a very short walk) Dad says “What are we doing?” Dad struggles with dimensia and short term memory loss. But he seemed impressed with the fava abundance and was game for posing for a few photos.
Long story short mom snapped a few pics and dad and I had a nice conversation about fava beans while enjoying the late afternoon breeze.
Sometimes it’s all about redirection and distraction and the favas were in my favor. Plus I got a nice pic of me and Dad out in the garden, one of our favorite places to be together.
Reading later I found out fava beans may help with the effects of Parkinson’s disease which is under the over arching umbrella of dimensia. Fava beans are a broad bean and have potential clinical relevance in patients with Parkinson disease because they contain high concentrations of the dopamine precursor dihydroxyphenylalanine (dopa) (1–3) and have the potential to increase the striatal dopamine content. Now you have to eat them every day to benefit but still, seemed fitting for my day.
So anyways back to the fava bean!
For their relatively small size, fava beans pack an incredible amount of nutrients.
In particular, they’re rich in plant protein, folate and several other vitamins and minerals. They’re loaded with soluble fiber that can aid digestion and lower cholesterol levels.
They’re thought to offer impressive health effects, such as improved motor function and immunity.
Fava beans are rich in manganese and copper — two nutrients that may prevent bone loss
They have a slightly sweet, earthy flavor and are eaten by people all over the world.
How Do I Cook Fava Beans?
To prepare them, start by removing their inedible green pods. Next, boil the beans for 30 seconds before transferring them to a bowl with ice water. This will soften the waxy outer coating of the bean, making it easier to peel off.
Peeled fava beans can be steamed or sautéed, tossed in olive oil and seasonings & eaten whole, or smashed to be eaten on top of bread or in other dishes.
To roast fava beans, boil them for 30 minutes, drain them and then add olive oil and seasonings. Spread the beans on a baking sheet and roast for another 30 minutes at 375℉.
OR you can really simplify the whole process like we do here sometimes and just through the unpeeled beans (right out of the pod) in a big roasted vegetable mix and peel them as you eat your dinner!
Cooked fava beans are SO versatile and can be added to salads, rice dishes, risottos, pastas, soups and pizzas.
Misha, a long time customer from the Hereford Farmer’s Market, loads up on them every season to make, among other things, this delicious bread salad.
Whatever you do with these seasonal, succulent beauties do it soon-they won’t last long!