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How to Make the Most of Your Fava Beans

Maximize the impact of these ultimate spring treats -- and minimize the work with this test-kitchen tip from Lucinda Scala Quinn.

Senior Digital Food Editor

Really, what other vegetable needs to be shelled twice? But fava beans are worth it. Their flavor is like pea meets bean, only better, and their season is short.

For Lucinda Scala Quinn, executive director of food at Martha Stewart Living, like for many cooks, favas are special: “Like ramps and rhubarb, they are one of the few harbingers of spring. When they hit the market, I want to grab them and celebrate.”

But prep, what she calls “that peel-blanch-peel” can be time-consuming, so she recommends making favas the star turn, not the chorus line. “Use them as a garnish, a highlight” like in Asparagus and Fava Beans with Toasted Almonds. They’re particularly good paired with other spring ingredients. Use them as part of a pasta, in a salad, or added to a vegetable stew. Don’t puree them, as you might as well just save yourself the labor and use peas and beans instead!

If you need a refresher course in fava bean prep, watch this: