Did you ever eat Fava Bean Greens? If you like spinach or other greens and haven’t tried them yet, you definitely should!
This autumn was the first time we planted fava beans in the garden. They’re supposed to make for a nice cover crop, being a legume and all. Legumes of all kinds are nice to the soil because they add nitrogen to it. Nature’s kind of fertilizer.
Beans that were planted in October sprouted and grew 3-4 leaf sets before
freezing weather took them out.
Once the main stem of the bean plant starts to “vine” or grow other than straight up, it’s nearly past time to clip off a few leaves. The smaller and younger leaves should be a little more supple and probably more appealing to eat than the largest leaves or stems.
Harvesting couldn’t have been any easier. The top leaves were snipped off with scissors being careful to let at least two pairs of leaves on the plant to support more growth.
The tops of the bean plants were put in a bowl of cold salted water after bringing them in from the garden. That way, any lingering pests and dirt could be removed and the leaves would stay fresh until I was ready to cook them, even if that was a few hours away.
The leaves were very clean. Pulling the leaves out of the bowl of water is all the rinsing they needed.
The flatness of the leaves makes them super easy to inspect and clean, unlike spinach or leaf lettuce.
Individual leaves were picked from the stems and dropped onto a paper towel to blot out excess water. Surely, the stems could be fried up as well, but they might be a little tough.
Frying up the greens was pretty easy too.
All you do is put heat a skillet, medium high on my stove, and add one tablespoon olive oil.
Let the oil get hot then add the fava greens and stir. The greens will soak up all the oil as it cooks.
The leaves wilt like spinach in the heat, so don’t overcook. They only need 2-3 minutes and they’re done.
Delicious nutty flavor.
The first time I ate the fava greens sautéed in olive oil and nothing else so the true flavors could be tasted. Nice!
The second time a shake of Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of lemon juice made the sautéed greens so good. Yum! I can see that there would be a dozen ways to enjoy the greens, sautéed or added to soups, sandwiches, salads, you name it.
Tip: pick a lot more greens than you think you could eat.
- they taste really good.
- when cooked, they shrink down to nothin’!
We’ll see how many of those fava bean plants make it to maturity. I’m suspecting that many won’t and instead provide scrumptious greens for a healthy punch to lunch.
Isn’t everybody looking for ways to add veggies to their diet?
If you’re a gardener, plant some fava beans in your garden this year. You’ll still benefit from the flowers and beans even if you don’t like the greens.
If you’re not a gardener, seek out the Produce Supervisor at your local grocery and ask for fava greens. Some upscale markets may already have them available, but you’re more likely to find fava greens at a local farmers’ market come Spring.