Ful of Fava Beans

Who talks about fava beans after the thrill of spring has long since faded from memory? The initial excitement over anything green and vital pushing through barren, frosted earth can’t hold a candle to the thrill of lush summer tomatoes growing heavy on their vines, tumbling past one another in superabundance. Preserved, fava beans remain widely available year round, unsung and largely unseen, yet essential to the Mediterranean diet for centuries. Bean-eaters of Tuscany (Mangiafagioli) were way ahead of their time, and I’m not just talking seasonally.

Food trends and superfood darlings be damned, legume love served the ancient Romans well, long before hashtags and selfies, to say the least. Spreading their influence far and wide across the western European states and beyond, some of the same dishes pop up across multiple cultures. Changed by the journey in varying degrees but always recognizable, many cultures ended up with “accidentally” vegan leanings, long before it was cool.

That’s where Vegan Mediterranean Cookbook, written by my good friend and culinary luminary Tess Challis, picks up the thread, and continues weaving it into a greater tapestry encompassing an entire plant-based lifestyle. Even for someone relatively indifferent to the dietary components of the approach like myself, the recipes are pure gold. Seasoned by all countries touched by the eponymous sea, the flavors of Italy, Greece, and Crete are strongly represented here, bearing scores of fool-proof classics that have stood the test of time. Where would any of us be, as a global society, without hummus, dolmas, and couscous, after all? It was the simple, understated recipe for Ful Medames (page 33) that caught my eye at first glance, and simply would not let go.

Typically made with long-simmered dried or canned fava beans and served hot, it’s especially prevalent in the middle east, but pops up all across the spice route, buoyed by fragrant cumin and the brightness of fresh herbs. Tess’s version skips the long smoldering boil, and in fact, cooking process altogether, opting for an effortless combination resulting in something more like a bean salad than a stew. Reading over the brilliance of that simplification, it suddenly occurred to me that I had just the thing to continue this modern evolution, this recipe renovation: Fresh fava beans.

Painstakingly shelled, peeled, and frozen in the height of spring salutations, the compact little container remained at the back of the freezer, waiting for an opportunity to shine. Transforming this hearty, hot dish into one suitable for light appetites, picnics, and lazy summer days, it proves the versatility, and timelessness, of the concept. Firm yet supple, buttery and verdant, fresh fava beans lend a punchier, more vegetative flair to the classic combination.

Vegan Mediterranean Cookbook doesn’t officially hit stores until September 24th, but I’m not one to tease, especially about something as serious as food. Lucky enough to get an early pre-release preview myself, I want to share that same gift with you, too! Enter for your chance to win a copy of your very own by entering your details in the form below. What I want to know is: What is your favorite Mediterranean (or Mediterranean-inspired) dish? Leave me a comment to secure your submission, and find many more ways to win bonus entries after that!

Everyone really is a winner though. Keep scrolling for the recipe for my adapted Fresh Fava Bean Ful. You’ll want to make this one right away, with or without the book in hand.

Yield: Makes 5 Side Dish Servings

Fresh Fava Bean Ful Medames

Fresh Fava Bean Ful Medames

This classic Egyptian dish is typically stewed for long periods of time, but using fresh fava beans instead of dried completely transforms it into a brilliant new taste sensation. Firm yet supple, buttery and verdant, fresh fava beans lend a punchier, more vegetative flair to the classic combination. Serve chilled or at room temperature for an effortless protein-packed entree or side.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups Fresh Fava Beans (Shelled)
  • 1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes, Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Minced
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 - 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Salt

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
  2. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Notes

Adapted from Vegan Mediterranean Cookbook by Tess Challis.

Recommended Products

Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. I have experience with all of these companies and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something through my links.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

5

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 158 Total Fat: 5g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 569mg Carbohydrates: 22g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 3g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 8g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.
Vegan Mediterranean Cookbook Giveaway

 

 

 

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Ful of Fava Beans

  1. I love those green faba beans, we have them here in the springtime. Faba beans are good in so many things: in Finland, where I come from, a group of young female food scientist students came up with a faba bean ice cream ,which is really yummy and creamy. https://hartelo.fi/en/

    1. That is so cool! I wish more people would cook with fava beans in general… This ice cream is so brilliant. I hope I can try it one day.

  2. I couldn’t enter, but the book sounds delicious. I’ve never used fava beans myself, but I’ve had them in Lebanese restaurants before. My favorite Mediterranean dish? Possibly pastitso.

    janet

Leave a Reply