Two of the most frustrating–or at least exceedingly labor-intensive–beans to prepare, fava beans and lima beans, also serve as among the most delicious and satisfying bookends to the gardening season. Each of them require not just one shelling like peas, but TWO stages of shelling, to get to the holy grail buried beneath the layers. Limas don’t arrive until later in the summer, but favas start appearing in the farmers market in June. And it’s a mixed blessing: if you want to eat them fresh and locally grown, preparation is the lion’s share of the effort in most recipes. It can take up to an hour to finally have the requisite amount of beans to start preparing your favorite fava beans recipe. But a little goes a long way, and in the end, a few times a season, the result is definitely worth the effort.
Here’s one of my favorite and (once the beans are shelled) quick and easy fava bean salad from Union Squae Greenmarket-sourced favas, brightened by parsley and lemon, and using garlic scapes and scallions right out of Campos Community Garden. Enjoy!