Charred Fava Beans with Smoked Sea Salt means it must be spring.
I typically harken the spring each year with a post featuring fava beans. Fava beans have a reputation as being difficult. The choosing. The shucking. The tedious last step of peeling off the tough outer skin from each and every fava bean. All of this before you even begin to cook.
I feel your fava fear and want to let you in on a secret. You can skip all those steps and go straight to cooking if you want to. Who says you can’t cook them while still in the pod? Or at least some of them.
The nice thing about the early season fava beans is that most of the pods are still quite young. So you know they hold dainty little favas. The younger the fava the better tasting these in the pod charred fava beans will be. Partly because the starches have not developed, but also because the tough skins that encase each bean will be thinner. So much thinner that I don’t usually bother to peel them. I just pop them in my mouth.
Which brings me to the inspiration for these charred fava beans. I don’t know about you, but I find edamame in the pods to be completely addicting. Slightly salty and steamy hot, I just can’t stop myself when they’re set out before me. I lent that same idea to fava beans in their pods. They’re charred in a pan, which steams them to barely cooked perfection. It’s easy to to slit the pod open and pop the bean into your mouth. The char on the outsides subtly flavors the delicate bean on the inside.
I’ve finished them with a drizzle of olive oil and a good sprinkle of smoked sea salt. Which further enhances the silky, smoky, salty tingle that you’ll lick from your lips as well as your fingertips. GREG