Saturday, May 16, 2009

fava bean cakes

First time cooking with fava beans. A quick internet search let me know that they are really labor intensive. First you remove the beans from their pods, then you have to blanch & shock them to make it easier to remove the skin on the outside of the bean. Damn, I just check my browser history and from start (when I searched for fava beans) to finish (totally done cooking & photographing), this recipe took me almost 2 and a half hours! Oof, I need a nap... or a beer. Or a napbeer.

1 lb fava beans
1 lb yukon potatoes, peeled
1 onion, roughly diced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup flour
1 Tbsp lemon juice
salt, pepper & garlic powder to taste
2 Tbsp canola oil, for frying

Get a pot of water boiling and remove all the fava beans from their pods. Blanch the fava beans for about a minute then scoop them out of the water with a slotted spoon or fine mesh strainer. Shock them in a large bowl with some ice water. I suggest a large bowl because you'll need a large bowl later to mash everything together. Also, just reheat the same pot of boiling water to boil the potatoes. Why make more dishes?

Alright, so put that pot of water back on the stove and when it's boiling again, add the potatoes. Meanwhile, get to work removing the skin from all the fava beans. I used a paring knife to help with some of the tougher skinned beans. Just make a little slice in the skin then pop the bean out. By the time I was done de-skinning the beans, the potatoes were about half way done. Heat up the olive oil in a skillet and cook the onions until they are tender and translucent.

When the potatoes and onions are both done, dump 'em in the large bowl with the fava beans, season and mash, mash, mash! When you get it to a consistency you like (I like it lumpy), add the lemon juice and flour. Give it a taste to check the seasoning, then you're ready to fry!

Heat up the canola oil in the skillet and form the bean cakes into small discs about the size of your palm. Fry them in batches, they only need about one minute per side. Place the finished cakes on a paper towel to blot excess oil. Makes 8 to 10 beans cakes. If you are making these in advance, reheat by baking them on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until they crisp up.


  1. Good idea. But then again, I've cooking and actually like many of your recipes so far.

    I did a modified version of green paste thing from the handout and I thought it was horrible- but then again, I wasn't too thrilled with the taste of the fava bean after I released them from their second skins so it might be my taste buds. Partner and baby ate the (very bright green) paste so it couldn't have been too bad.

  2. oh MAN that looks delicious! dangggggg. i am going to have to make this. shipment was good today, except my melon arrived split in several pieces :( too bad no favas, but hit on giving us rhubarb & strawberry together! how was yours?

  3. oops you know me better as caroline from osted with my old blogger account.