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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Slow Cooker Sides

13-11-18 slow cooker mashed potatoes 900x602

It is once again that time of year. The leaves have been changing colors and falling to the ground, and the temperatures are dropping. The holiday season starts out with Thanksgiving. What is an easier way to prepare holiday means for busy mothers than to prepare a side dish or two in the slow cooker? There is a wide array of delicious slow cooker side dishes available.

Rustic Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a staple on any holiday dinner table. There is no easier way than to prepare this side dish in a crock pot. The ingredients needed for these scrumptious potatoes are:

  • 3 lbs of baking potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces that are a couple of inches (Yukon gold work wonderfully, or russet are good as well)
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 2 - 14 ounce cans of seasoned chicken broth
  • 6 cloves of garlic, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup of butter

To make this dish, put the potatoes and the garlic in a 3 1/2 to 4 quart crock pot and pour the seasoned chicken broth over the potatoes and garlic. Depending on how much time is available, the potatoes can either be cooked on high heat for 3-4 hours, or low heat for 6-8 hours. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them and return them to the crock pot. Heat the milk and butter until the butter is melted then pour over the potatoes in the crock pot and mash together. More milk can be added if the consistency of the potatoes are too stiff. The potatoes can be left on low heat in the crock pot to keep them warm until serving, making it easy to prepare them earlier in the day.

Apple Buttered Sweet Potatoes

Another great side dish that's a breeze to make in the crock pot is apple buttered sweet potatoes. For this dish the ingredients needed are:

  • 3 lbs of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 medium tart cooking apples
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (to taste)
  • 1 cup apple butter

In a 3 1/2 to 4 quart crock pot, place the sweet potatoes and apples. In a medium sized bowl combine the whipping cream, pumpkin pie spice and apple butter. Pour the wet mixture over the sweet potatoes and apples and stir gently to combine. This dish can cook on low heat for 6 to 7 hours, or on high heat for 3 to 4 hours.

These are just two of many side dishes that are delicious and simple out of the crock pot. Other examples of side dishes that are simple and stay delicious until serving out of the crock pot include:  creamy corn and roasted red peppers, tex-mex mac and cheese, easy cheesy potatoes and broccoli in alfredo sauce.