Of all the bounty that spring brings to farmers' markets, fava beans stand out. An ancient member of the pea family (Europeans and North Africans have been eating them for millennia), fava beans have a nutty taste and buttery texture all their own. "They're very distinct," says Martha Stewart Living food editor Sarah Carey. "And they marry well with other mild, earthy flavors, such as mint, tarragon, leeks, and spring onions, as well as cream." All fava beans have to be shelled. Unless they're extremely small, the individual beans will have an outer skin that needs to be removed as well. But for such a delicious seasonal experience, you'll find yourself going through the effort -- and reaping the rewards -- many times over.
Farm-Stand Find: Fava Beans
Martha Stewart Living, May 2011