fava bean botanical illustrationThey’re easily one of our favorite vegetables that comes from our garden, so why aren’t fresh fava beans more widely available in grocery stores? Because most people don’t know how to prepare them, and when they learn…well…who wants to take the time to shell, boil, shell again, and then finish cooking them?

Umm..we do. Preparing fava beans is a labor of love, as 2 pounds will yield just a little over 1 cup shelled favas. But it’s well worth it. These beans are rich, meaty, and taste like sunny weather in a bowl. Fancy restaurants will dress them up in a million different ways, but honestly, we think adding too many other flavors just ruins them. Toss them with a full-flavored extra-virgin olive oil.

Ingredients (4)

  • 2 pounds fresh fava beans in the pod
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler

Additional Information

  • Prep Time: 30m


Remove the fava beans from their pods and discard the pods.

In a large pot of boiling water, cook the beans for 1 minute. Drain. If the fava beans are very small, about the size of a pinky fingernail, you can leave them in their skins. If not, slip them out of their skins.

Transfer the beans to a large bowl. Add the oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt and toss to a coat. Serve with the Parmesan scattered over the top.

This recipe can be found in our Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook.

by Josh and Brent

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