As much as I adore fava beans, the labor involved in shelling them sometimes dissuades me from cooking with them. Last year, when I first gave this pan-roasted method a whirl, I was blown away. You get all the joy of the fava bean, but the preparation is so heartbreakingly simple that it’s hard to believe it’s the same, fussy bean. The pods take on a smoky quality somewhat similar to shisito peppers.
It’s important to select young, tender pods when you prepare them whole, because the larger pods tend to be tougher and chewier and don’t take so well to the pan.
PAN-FRIED WHOLE FAVA BEANS
Serves 4 as an appetizer
1 pound fresh, young fava beans (look for smaller, tender pods)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, plus more for finishing
lemon wedges for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Heat a large skillet over a medium flame.
Toss the fava beans in the olive oil and salt. Once the skillet is hot, arrange the pods in a single layer in the pan. You will most likely need to work in batches.
Saute them for at least 7 minutes per side, leaving them undisturbed as they cook. Larger pods may need more time.
Using tongs, flip the pods and saute for another 5-7 minutes on the second side, again leaving undisturbed. Place sauteed pods in the oven to keep warm.