Fava Beans. I know, I know, the first thing that pops into your mind is a crazy looking Anthony Hopkins making that weird slurping sound after he says "And I had his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti".
Well I'm here to tell you that it must have been premeditated because fava beans are one high maintenance, low yield vegetable as far as prep goes.
I saw a lovely Pork Tenderloin with Favas and Goat Cheese Pan Sauce recipe by Georganne Brennan on SFGate.com . In fact, I want to try every recipe in the article. I had some pork tenderloin. I went to West Side Market, because honestly, I don't remember ever seeing fava beans at the local grocers. So I scored one pound of these Jack in the Beanstalk looking things in their giant pods. Got some goat cheese and figured I was good to go.
Step one: You've got to get the actual beans out of the pods. Not a big deal really, but it takes a little time. Then you have a (small) bowl of beans still covered in an inedible white covering.
Step two: Blanch the shelled beans in boiling water for a few minutes, then shock them in some ice water, then remove the white covering to reveal, ta da, the tiniest little bowl of beans. The photo of that didn't turn out, but let's just say, they could fit in the palm of my hand.
Ok, so I wasn't planning on making enough to feed a family, but that's a whole lotta work for a relatively tiny payoff. Then I read on-line somewhere that you need to start with five pounds to feed four people. I am pretty sure you end up throwing away 4 and half pounds of inedible compost.
After looking at my tiny payoff I decided to make something else for dinner, so I still haven't tried the recipe. Maybe when a fresh batch of favas hits the markets.
For more fava facts, check out this link from NPR.
So if you see some chef has put a fava heavy dish on the menu, rest assured that there is an army of prep cooks in the kitchen secretly wishing they could have his liver and some Chianti.