Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Bissara (Moroccan Fava Bean Dip) and Fava and Garbanzo Bean Salad
I bought several pounds of fava beans at the farmers' market in Alhambra recently. They're only going to be in season for maybe another month. So if you haven't tried them before, hurry! Fava beans taste like a cross between lima beans and edamame. They're a bit of work since they have to be shelled twice - the hard outer layer and the inner covering over the bean has to be removed. One pound of beans will result in about 1 cup after shelling. After you remove the tough outer pods you'll see these beans.
You have to shell those too. I usually boil mine in salted water for about 10 minutes. I've seen recipes that only call for 3 minutes but that still seems to leave the beans too hard for me. So if you want the beans hard like edamame then boil for 3 minutes, if you want them soft like lima beans then boil for 10 minutes.
These were actually a bit overcooked because I forgot and left them in for 15 minutes. You can see the inner shell has cracked revealing the bright green fava bean inside.
Now, at this point, I usually just snack on them plain. I think I ate about a quarter of these just like this.
But I also decided to make
Bissara (Moroccan Fava Bean Dip).
1 1/2 cups fava beans, shelled and lightly boiled (1 1/2 lbs of beans before shelling)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 medium lemon, juiced
1 tsp salt
2 garlic cloves
About 3 tblsp of olive oil
Put everything in a food processor and puree until smooth. Serve with toasted Middle Eastern flatbread. It's like eating a very green and spring-tasting hummus.
So in thinking of hummus, I decided to use the rest of my fava beans and combine them with garbanzo beans to make a salad. Here's lil' sis's fingers reaching in for a bite.
I took used almost the same ingredients as the bissara, but added a can of garbanzo beans. Think of it as a non-pureed hummus. It still seemed to be missing that oomph, so remembering this garbanzo bean salad recipe from Orangette, I added olive oil and parmesan cheese and it was perfect.
Fava and Garbanzo Bean Salad
1 can garbanzo beans drained
1 cup fava beans, shelled and boiled
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
To taste: freshly ground black pepper, cayenne, vinegar, olive oil, Parmesan cheese.
So there you go, at least two pretty healthy ways to enjoy fava beans. Three if you just want to eat them plain, like I do. :)
Similar spreads: Hummus