In Season: Fava Beans

By Caroline Mosey

This eastern Mediterranean member of the pea family makes its debut in late spring. Favas pack a huge protein punch, boast ample amounts of fiber and iron, and contain L-dopa, an amino acid that produces dopamine, which triggers a feel-good response in the brain. Look for firm, vibrant green pods for the best flavor. Before trying these recipes, remove the beans from their pods, boil them in salted water for three minutes, then slip them out of their waxy coating.

Grilled Halibut With Fava Bean Mash
Season halibut fillet with salt and pepper, grill 3 minutes on each side or until cooked through. In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup fava beans, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Mash roughly with a fork until combined. Place fish on top of the fava bean mash.

Angel Hair With Feta and Fava Beans
Toss 1/4pound cooked angel hair pasta with 2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 cup fava beans, and 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese. Season with coarse sea salt.

Roasted Red Pepper and Fava Crostini
Slice baguette into 1/2-inch slices. Arrange slices on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and bake at 375 degrees for 5 minutes or until golden. In a food processor, pulse 1 cup roasted red peppers, 3/4cup fava beans, and 1 garlic clove until combined. Spread 1 tablespoon of mixture onto each slice of bread.

Creamy Fava Bean Soup
In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add 1/2 shallot, finely minced, and sauté until tender. Add 2 cups chicken broth and 2 cups fava beans; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Using a blender, puree soup in batches until smooth, and return to pot. Stir in 2 tablespoons cream and 1 teaspoon chopped thyme. Salt and pepper to taste.