My crop share has been wonderful so far - six weeks of sweet local produce from Tantre Farm in Chelsea, Michigan. Sometimes it's even too much for one week, and then I'm left pondering how best to preserve these goodies for when they would no longer be in season.
I've been saving up fava beans for three weeks. So some were a little less than fresh, but the armor that is naturally on these suckers seems like it could protect them from a lot. The size of the fava bean untouched looks like there is much more food in it than there really is. Eight or ten cups (hard to measure these suckers) of unshelled beans really yields way less than half shelled.
They have to be processed in two ways. First they need to be shelled from the pod. Please employ your small children for this task. Either that or do it yourself, if you are like me and find that kind of work mind-numbing and relaxing. Then they need to be boiled for about six minutes and peeled again. If you put them into a ice water bath, they are much easier to handle and peel.
At this point they can be eaten as is, or tossed with thinly shaven red onion and a viniagrette and chilled for a salad. But last night I was looking for something warm, so I made fava bean fritters based on a recipe from Martha Stewart. I wouldn't call them fritters in the truest sense of the word, but I would say they were more like patties - which sounds much less appetizing.
Fava Bean Fritters
based on a recipe from Martha Stewart
Six cups of fava beans, shelled, boiled in salted water, roughly chopped in food processor
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup pecorino romano
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup fresh parsley minced
salt, pepper to taste
Mix ingredients together. Saute in olive oil, approximately 3-4 minutes per side over med-high heat. Serve with a side of marinara sauce.