It seems like fava beans are all I see in my food porn stream around this time of year. And every year, I pin or save or drool over fava bean recipes only to find that there are no favas available where I live. Last week, I almost shouted in the market (it’s true – you can ask my husband) when I saw fava beans in stock. I had no idea what I was going to make but I bought a bag on the spot.
I’ve never cooked with fava beans so I was not aware when I bought them that there is a two-step process to shelling the beans. Fortunately, I have little laborers in my kitchen who think bean shelling is fun. I started out with two pounds of beans and ended up with only half a cereal bowl full once peeled. I was a bit nervous.
The effort was worth it. I made a very simple dish of chicken breast and fava beans from my old favorite Williams-Sonoma’s Taste blog. The dish does take a few steps, but is a nice, clean preparation that is perfect for a weeknight. If your fava beans are already shelled. For this dish, the chicken is pounded, seasoned with salt and pepper, and pan fried. My chicken was a bit undercooked after being removed from the skillet, but this turned out to be fine as it continued to cook slowly in a warm oven while I prepared the sauce. My chicken was nicely cooked (but not overcooked) once I had finished the sauce.
There is something comforting about a sauce that involves garlic, green onion, and deglazing with wine. Add fava beans and butter to that loveliness and you have a winner. Warning: do not skim the recipe and think that you can combine your measured wine and chicken broth. This will result in your dumping the whole thing out and re-measuring wine possibly from your wine glass. Just saying.
With my chicken, I served a spinach and pea salad with mint, basil, and farro. I started with a recipe for spinach and pea salad that I found on Pinterest but of course was missing half of the ingredients. My mint had molded, my snap peas had been eaten, and I did not have enough spinach for the recipe. Oh. And the recipe came from an Australian blog so all measurements were metric. No matter. The salad still worked out great.
I used about 5 ounces of spinach, almost an entire 10 ounce bag of frozen peas, nearly all of a pot of farro (cook this in advance and let it cool – I used one cup farro to three cups water), and a handful of a combination of mint (the non-molded leaves) and basil. I would have liked more mint in this salad. I also would have added salt and pepper to the dressing. Oddly missing. The shaved parmesan over the top of the salad helped.
This is a big salad. I fed four adults and two littles last night but still had leftovers. You could easily add grilled chicken to the top of this salad to serve it as a meal on its own. I would totally come over if you did that. Let me know.