Fava beans, also known as broad beans, are a popular food in Italian cuisine. I rarely see fava beans in my neck of the woods, so I was pleasantly surprised to see them at my local supermarket. I jumped at the opportunity to buy them thinking of all the wonderful fava bean recipes I could make with them. There are many recipes that recommend shelling the fava beans and removing the outer skins. Removing the outer skin isn’t necessary, especially if the beans are small.
A garlic and mint pesto-based sauce is tossed with tender boiled fava beans in this simple, old Sicilian recipe.
FAVA BEANS WITH GARLIC AND MINT
(Fave cu L’agghia é Mentha/Fave con Aglio é Menta)
Difficulty Rating: Easy
Makes 4 servings.
2 cups fresh shelled fava beans (2-3 pounds)
1 large clove garlic
1 teaspoon salt
8 fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves (optional)
Mash the garlic clove, salt, and mint in a mortar and pestle until paste-like. Stir in the olive oil and oregano until blended. Set aside.
Fill a large saucepan with salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the fava beans, reduce heat to medium and cook approximately 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain the beans and place in a medium serving bowl. Stir in the garlic/mint mixture and let stand for 15 minutes to allow all the flavors to absorb. Serve warm or at room temperature.