Fava beans are prized for their rich, buttery flavor, which chefs love to incorporate in some of their first spring dishes. They take some care to shell and peel, but the resulting tender beans are well worth the effort. To counter the prep time, choose recipes that showcase the favas simply. A light vinaigrette and a bit of shaved cheese create a fresh and easy side below — this dish can come together in under half an hour.
Fava Beans with Olive Oil & Lemon
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
Remove the fava beans from their pods and 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 into a bowl of ice water.
When cool enough to handle, slip off the skins and discard. Transfer to a serving bowl.
Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, parsley and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle on top of the beans and toss. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and toss gently. Serve right away. Serves 6.