Sunday, May 10, 2009

Grilled Fava Beans: For a Lazy Day

Yesterday was the most perfect Mother's Day that I've experienced since becoming a mother. The weather was perfect, and I wanted to spend the whole day outside enjoying our new backyard. Louis has spent the last 3 months landscaping and constructing 6 raised beds. And with the new swing, I just want to sit back there and watch the plants grow.

We went to the farmer's market in the morning. My mind was definitely on grilling. One, because it was perfect outside and two, because Louis does all of the work when we grill. And yesterday, I just wanted to be lazy. I spent most of the day laying on the swing reading and watching Louis tend to the garden, planting out some new things we picked up at the market, some zephyr squash and strawberries.

When it came time to eat, I just tossed some fava beans with olive oil, salt and pepper and handed them to Louis. I must say, I was a bit skeptical of grilled fava beans. I had read about the chef at A16 in San Francisco doing it, so I thought it was time to give it a try.

I often don't buy fava beans because they are so much work to prepare. First you need to take them out of the pod. Then there is a skin covering each bean which needs to be removed. So just throwing them on the grill without any prep was exactly what I was in the mood for yesterday. And guess what. They were amazing! The pods get a bit charred and become really easy to open. The beans get steamed while the pods char. When you open the pods and slip the beans out, the little charred bits along with the salt and oil get on your fingers and flavor the beans as you pop them in your mouth. Served with some salty sheep's milk cheese and radishes, it was a perfectly lazy meal for a perfectly lazy day.

Grilled Fava Beans

1 pound whole fava beans
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Chopped mint and chili flakes (optional)

Prepare a grill with medium hot coals

Toss the fava beans with the olive oil and salt to taste. Grill the beans, turning a few times for 6-8 minutes, until the beans are charred in spots but not completely blackened.

Pile the beans onto a platter and let cool for a few minutes. Top with chopped mint and chili flakes if you want.

To eat, pry open pods, pop out beans, pinch off tip of wrinkled skin with you fingernail and squeeze out tender, fragrant fava. Lick your oily, salty fingertips...

Serve with radishes, sheep's milk cheese and some white wine.

Serves 2-3


  1. Those are just BEAUTIFUL! So happy to have found your blog this morning.

  2. Rebekka,
    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Lots of grilled fava recipes lately. I really have to try this. I've been picking them up every week at the market, and really needed a new recipe. Thanks!

  4. Simply brilliant idea.
    I love fava but have never eaten them grilled - they look delicious.
    My kind of food really.

  5. Hip hip hooray for a perfect Mother's Day! jenn