I don’t know about you but I find edamame in the pods 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 bean pods. They’re charred in a pan, which steams them to barely cooked perfection. You’ll love the smoky, salty tingle on your lips as much as on your fingertips.
*Choose very young, early spring favas in the pods that are no more than 3 to 4 inches long. Feel the pods and try and choose only those with favas inside that appear to be no more than ½‑inch. These baby fava beans can be eaten without bothering to remove the skin. Of course you can use larger favas for this recipe, but you might want to remove the tough skin just before you pop one in your mouth.
By the way, the pods are edible. Especially when they are young and tenders. So take a nibble and see what you think.
- 1 pound baby fava beans, in pods (see notes*)
- cooking spray (as needed)
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves (loosely packed)
- smoked sea salt (to taste)
- very good extra-virgin olive oil (for drizzling)
Snip the ends of each fava bean pod to create an escape for the steam that will build up inside the pods during cooking.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Once the skillet gets very hot, lightly spray the bottom with cooking spray. Place the fava bean pods into the skillet in as close to a single layer as possible. Let the pods cook until lightly charred on one side, be careful not to let them burn however. Turn the pods and cook them on the other side. Add the mint leaves at this point, letting them come into conatact with the skillet wherever possible until lightly charred.
Watch the fava bean pods carefully as the char, they will begin to inflate from the steam inside. As soon as they begin to deflate and become a bit limp, shake the skillet and remove it from the heat; season liberally with smoked sea salt. Serve either straight from the skillet or transfer them to a warm platter, drizzling them with a bit of olive oil. Encourage people to eat the fava beans straight from the pods with their hands “edamame style”.