Fava beans are beginning to appear in farmer’s markets and they are something you shouldn’t miss. Fava beans, or vicia faba, are among the most ancient plants in cultivation. Fava beans are relatively easy to grow, but have two outer pods that must be removed before eating. These beans are used most often in Mediterranean recipes and here in the United States. Fava Beans look like a larger version of a sweet pea pod, but the flavors more buttery. In this recipe, I pair fava beans with sweet corn and cook them in brown butter to highlight the natural richness. The fava beans go nicely with fresh fish like halibut.
12-15 fresh fava bean pods
2 ears fresh sweet corn
2-4 halibut fillets, 4-6 ounces each
1 lemon, optional
1. Fill a medium pot with water and heat until boiling. Husk the fava beans by removing the beans from the outer pods.
2. When the water is boiling, add the fava beans to the water to help loosen the outer husk from the beans, about 3 minutes.
3. Remove the beans from the boiling water and let them cool for 5 minutes or until easy to handle.
4. Peel the outer husk from the beans and set them aside until ready to use.
5. Husk the corn and slice off the kernels from the cobs.
6. Pat the fish dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
7. In a saute pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil heat to medium. After 2 minutes, add the fish and saute on the first side, about 3 minutes.
8. Flip the fish over and continue to saute for 7 minutes. If the fish are thick, place the lid over the pan and steam for 4 of the 7 minutes. Do not turn the heat up past medium, you want to cook the fish on moderately low heat or it will dry out.
9. Remove the fish from the saute pan and place them on a plate and cover with foil, while you cook your vegetables.
10. To the same saute pan, add 3 tablespoons of butter. Heat the butter in the pan over medium heat for 4 minutes or until the butter is lightly browned.
11. Add the corn and saute for 3 minutes in the brown butter.
12. Fold in the fava beans and continue to cook for 2 minutes. The favas are mostly cooked, you are just warming them in the brown butter at this point. Salt and pepper the fava mixture to taste.
13. To plate, scoop a large helping of vegetables on each plate followed by a halibut fillet. Serve with a lemon wedge if desired. Enjoy!