Fava Beans with Fresh Summer Corn

This past weekend at the Farmer’s Market some very important things happened:

1) I saw a woman carrying a puppy on her chest in a baby carrier.  Wow, that’s impressive.  If I walk around with my cat like that would you still talk to me?   Probably not.  And he probably wouldn’t either. Bummer.

2) Apples are on their way back in and I’m trying to ignore them.  Is it just me or does apple season feel a little early this year?

Sorry apples, but for as long as peaches are still around we’re going to be frenemies.  That’s just how it is.

3) And, most importantly, I found fava beans!

I don’t know if I just somehow missed fava beans at the market every weekend or if they haven’t been around much, but I couldn’t manage to find them anywhere this year.  Well, until Sunday that is.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with fava beans (also called “broad beans”), you should know that they are large beans that come in giant pods (ranging anywhere from 5 – 8 inches long).  The pods are inedible as is the outer layer of the bean which must be removed by cooking it.  They have a very distinct taste that comes on strong and a tad bitter at times.

This week I’ve been enjoying them in this recipe, paired with my other summer favorite of fresh corn.  Even though fava beans can be a bit bitter, when they are sautéed with a little garlic, salt, pepper, and fresh summer corn, magic happens.  Their flavor mellows and becomes almost buttery while complementing the corn’s crunch and lightness.  Even though it took me all summer to find these, they were worth the wait.

Fava Beans with Fresh Summer Corn 
Serves 2 as a side

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2.5 pounds fava beans (in pod)
Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
Fresh corn kernels from 2 cobs, about 1 cup

To prepare the fava beans, begin by snapping the tip of the bean and pulling the string gently down until it reaches the end.

Now you will be able to open the pod.  The inside will be very soft and will house about 4 – 8 beans.  Remove the beans from the pod.

The outer layer of the beans is not edible.  To remove it, either parboil or steam them for about a minute or two.  The skin will become shriveled.  Then press on one end of the skin to push the bean out and remove the skin.  The beans are now ready to eat!

Add the olive oil to a pan over medium-low heat.  Sauté the garlic for one minute or until fragrant.  Add the fava beans, salt, pepper, and fresh corn.  Sauté for an additional minute.  Serve warm. 
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  1. says

    Know what would go good with this?

    A nice Chianti.


    Hokey movie references aside, great tutorial. I’ve had canned fava beans, but didn’t care for them; bet the fresh ones are much better. Thanks!

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