The fava bean looks scary. It's true. It's gigantic, misshapen and a mottled green with brown splotches. It's not a pretty vegetable, like a tomato or a summer squash. It's not a uniform pod veggie, like a sweet pea or a green bean. It's more like a sweet pea urgently hissing "Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."
I probably wouldn't choose to buy a fava bean, but given that we get them through our CSA, FarmerT has to date provided my family with 4 POUNDS of fava beans. ~L~ is not about to waste some veggies.
We had friends come over on Saturday and that seemed like a good opportunity to offload some fava bean action. Fava beans are also difficult in another way: you don't shell them once, you shell them TWICE. There is the huge, ugly outer layer, which you snap off. Within spongy, perfect for mailing packages foam stuff you discover perfectly smooth, bright, huge green beans. Think Jack and the beanstalk beans. These are the beans that you blanche and then shell again to get to the smaller lima-bean shaped bean that smells much like wet dog.
Anyway, the original scary veggie is huge and pretty fun to shell. If you're say, four years old, it's like cracking open a green banana and digging for treasure. What started as Mommies shelling beans turned into a full out bean-snapping party. It was fun for all of us!
Many hands do make light work, and it was nice for the children to receive instant gratification for their work...not that they ate any of the four POUNDS.
I have to admit, it was enormously complicated to produce a dish that despite garlic, bacon, onions and chicken stock, still smelled like wet dog and tasted like lima beans.