Simple Fava Bean Recipe

Fava beans have a rich, buttery taste, and chefs love to incorporate them into their first spring dishes. Fava beans are a staple of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking. Young favas can be cooked and used unpeeled, but as they mature, their tough outer skins need to be removed.  But it’s well worth the effort because their rich flavor is delicious in everything from salads to stews. They might take some time to shell and peel, but putting the tender green beans into any dish makes it sodelicious! Since they are so fresh, and have a naturally good taste, it is best to create dishes with them that use simple ingredients and highlight the taste of the beans themselves. Here is a simple recipe that does just that and also comes together in under half an hour.

Fava Beans with Olive Oil and Lemon

Ingredients

4 lb. fresh fava beans

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest

3/4 cup shaved aged hard cheese, such as Pecorino

 

Method

  • First, shell the fava beans from the fava pods. If you're new to fava beans, an easy method is to open the pods as you run the edge of a knife along the seam, cutting away the tough edge so that the pod halves come apart. Discard the pods.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the beans and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes (the amount of time required will depend on the freshness of the beans).
  • Using a slotted spoon, drain the beans and then immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice water. This “shocks” the beans and stops the cooking process. This step ensures that the beans do not get overcooked and mushy.
  • When cool enough to handle, slip off the outer skins of the beans and discard. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  • In another small bowl, combine the extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, and lemon zest. Whisk until blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the mixture on top of the beans and toss. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and toss gently again. Serve right away.

This is an easy recipe that takes hardly any time to put together. Not only is it packed with nutrients, it looks very appetizing with a bright green color. It can be served as an appetizer, a healthy snack, or as a side dish with a main entrée. The initial prep time aside, these make for a quick dish anytime. The light vinaigrette and a bit of shaved cheese is all it takes to create this tasty dish. You can eat these on their own, or you can even add pasta to turn it into a nice pasta salad. Add a protein like grilled chicken or pork, and you have a complete meal.

Try this simple fava bean recipe and let the buttery taste of these beans shine through. Just dress these beans with a light vinaigrette and shaved cheese to create a simple yet delicious dish.

 

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Yummy Pesto: Now and Later

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Make Ahead Pesto

This recipe is perfect for busy moms because it’s quick to make, delicious and healthy. On top of that, this simple-to-make pesto can be used to top pasta or chicken. Most pesto recipes require a lot of ingredients, but this recipe uses a few basics that you probably have in your pantry.

Ingredients:

3 cups of fresh basil
¾ cup pine nuts
3 to 4 cloves of garlic
½ cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup olive oil

Directions:  The first step towards making this pesto is to gather your ingredients and start preparing a blender or food processor. The next step is extremely simple; all you have to do is toss the basil, pine nuts, oil, garlic and Parmesan cheese into the blender/food processor and pulse until the pesto is somewhat smooth. Then, you can serve the pesto however you like or store it in the refrigerator. This pesto can be kept in a fridge for three days in advance. If you want it a week in advance, simply freeze it and thaw it out when you need it.

Almond Pesto

This recipe gives a new take to a classic dish. Instead of using traditional pine nuts and basil, this recipe contains fresh cilantro, almonds and spinach. Mozzarella cheese gives the dish a punch of decadence. You can make this recipe a week in advance and freeze it to help it stay fresh. When you want to use it, simply reheat it and you’re good to go.

Ingredients:

2 cups spinach
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup olive oil

Directions:  Making pesto is really easy, which is why it’s the perfect recipe for busy moms. Once you gather your ingredients, toss them into a blender and pulse until the pesto reaches the perfect consistency. Some people prefer pesto to be chunky while others like it smooth.

Make Ahead Nutty Pesto Sauce

Ingredients:

1 cup walnuts
¼ cup almonds
1 cup olive oil
3 cups oregano
2 cloves of garlic
¼ cup Italian cheese

Directions:  The first step is to gather your ingredients and take out a food processor. First, toss the walnuts and almonds in the food processor until they are finely chopped. Once the walnuts and almonds are done, add the rest of the ingredients and blend together. When you’re done, you can top the pesto with Italian cheese. You can make this recipe in advance and store it in the freezer or use it immediately to top pasta.