Fret Free Fava

Scared or simply annoyed by fresh fava beans, which seem to require cracking open pod after pod before cooking? Don’t be, writes Kristen Miglore in Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook.


“Favas don’t deserve their high-maintenance reputation. The fact is, they were born edible, from pod to peel to bean. You just have to know what to do with them. To eat the whole fava (and not waste a thing), do as Chef Ignacio Mattos does and throw them on the grill. Smoke and char do great things for favas’ thick-walled pods and skins, and they’ll soften enough that you can eat them with your hands.”

Ignacio Mattos’s Grilled Favas

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 lb. fresh fava beans in their pods (the younger, the better)
  • 1 tsp. fleur de sel (salt), plus more as needed
  • 1 tsp. ground chili
  • 1 tsp. fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to finish
  • 2 tbs. water
  • 1 lemon
  • 7 to 8 anchovies canned in oil, finely chopped
  • 1 handful toasted bread crumbs (optional)

1) Prepare a medium-hot fire in a gas or charcoal grill.

2) Mix together the fava beans, fleur de sel, ground chili, rosemary, garlic, olive oil, and -water in a large bowl. Toss to coat the fava pods, then place them on the grill over medium-high heat. Grill the favas for several minutes, until charred, then flip them over and char the other side, cooking until the pods seem about to open.

3) Remove the pods from the grill, return them to the mixing bowl, and squeeze the lemon over them. Toss the pods to coat. Add the anchovies to the bowl, mixing well. Check the seasoning; add salt, if necessary.

4) Place the pods on a serving platter, drizzle to taste with olive oil, and sprinkle the bread crumbs on top. Serve hot or at room temperature; eat with your hands.

Reprinted with permission from Food52 Genius Recipes by Kristen Miglore, copyright © 2015. Recipe courtesy of Ignacio Mattos. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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