Gardening Articles and Videos

In Season: Fava Beans
6/10/2010 | Sheryl McGlochlin

Article image: In Season:  Fava Beans

Spring produce has entered the market. This week, look for: Fava beans.

What are they? » Also known as broad beans, favas are legumes native to north Africa and southwest Asia. They're popular throughout the world, though usually in their dry form as their peak season usually lasts just a few weeks. People who take MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) should avoid eating favas as they contain high levels of tyramine.

How to use » Shell the beans from their leathery pods, discarding the pods. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and blanch the beans for 4 minutes. Strain the beans into an ice bath to stop them from cooking. Gently peel the skins from the beans and use as desired.

Look for » If you can find them, look for pods that are leathery, firm and without blemishes. Check for pods that contain large beans.

Storage » Fava beans are highly perishable. Store them in the refrigerator for up to three days.