I’m in the midst of a Fava Bean frenzy.
Okay, not really, but it made me giggle to write that last bit.
If there is one thing that I have learned over the past weekend about Fava Beans is how much they are a pain in the ass they can be…unless you have canned.
If you have dry beans (and I do), you have to prep them at least 24 hours in advance before you can use them. How do you prep them? Sit them in a bowl of cold water (covered with water) and let then re-hydrate them for a day or two. Change the water once or twice if you’re afraid of flatulence…called Flatulephobia (okay, I just made that up).
With Fava Beans, there’s this skin that you have to deal with. The skin of the bean does NOT taste good. So you have to shell the beans as well. You can shell them either before you cook them (as I did) or after you cook them.
So you sit there, waiting for days to cook your beans, and how long do they cook in boiling water? 4-6 minutes. That’s it! 36 hours of waiting and then 4-6 minutes of cooking. *sigh* It’s not the payoff one may be looking for. The best way to test for doneness? Either a taste test, or pinch a bean and feel if it is still hard. If it is, continue cooking. If it isn’t drain the beans immediately (unless you want them smooshy).
The taste,however, is darn good, and I’m saying that as a verifiable non-bean eater. It’s a little meaty in taste, as well as beany.And it carries other flavors very well, so it can be used as a delivery vehicle for the taste of various spices.
Oh, and yes, beans do cause flatulence. A little thing called oligosaccharides (complex sugars) are sometimes hard to digest in some people, and instead are processed in the lower intestine. The end result? Gas. (*snicker*).