Somebody told me once years ago," if you miss something don't sweat it, it's not leaving the planet." That's a maxim I've always believed until a couple of weeks ago when I attempted to buy fresh garbanzo beans. I'd never seen fresh garbanzos before, though I'd heard of them, and when they showed up in my local Whole Foods Market, I was shocked. I wanted those garbanzos badly. I hadn't even been able to find them at the Organic Farmers Market, no matter how many times, I'd asked. Nobody seemed to know nothin', then, Bam! There they were right in front of me and like a dope I didn't buy any. My excuse was I didn't have the time that day to cook them, I figured I'd come back the next day and pick some up. After all they weren't leaving the planet, right? Wrong. After that day, I never saw them again. No matter how many people I asked, it was a lost cause. As fast as they appeared they were gone. It seemed they had left the planet. My plans for spiced, roast, fresh garbanzos seemed gone forever. It was my first time discovering that sometimes stuff actually does leave the planet. Then I thought, wait a minute, hold the phone, fava beans!
Now, a lot of people have never tried fava beans. All they know about this delightful legume comes from Hannibal Lecter.
But this is fava bean season, and if you haven't tried them you really should. They're inexpensive, readily available, and delicious. So that's what I did. I bought some fresh fava beans and decided to pretend they were fresh garbanzos. After all a bean is a bean is a bean, right? Right. The recipe worked beautifully with favas, and would work with garbanzos, and yeah...fresh garbanzos too, if you are one of the lucky people able to find them. This recipe can be made with frozen favas, but if you use fresh here's how to prep them no matter what you're using them for.
Spiced Roast Fava Beans
Here's What You Need:1 lb of fava beans
3 Tbs of olive oil
3 Tbs of spice mix (your choice of mix, and I'll show you what I used)
Here's What To Do:Wash the fava beans.
Shell the fava beans.
Boil some salted water in a pot. When it's boiled, toss the shelled favas into the boiling water for about 2 minutes.
Plunge them into an ice water bath so that they stop cooking.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with paper towels, and place the skinned fava beans on it to thoroughly dry.
While they're drying, prep your spice mix. The spice mix, can be anything you'd like. Just think of the favas as popcorn and go from there. I decided to go with an Iranian spice mix, called Advieh Khoresht from Raw Spice Bar.
In case you've not heard of them, Raw Spice Bar is a company that delivers small batch, freshly ground spice blends to your door for 6 bucks a month. For that price they also give you about 3 or 4 spice blends from a given region, enough to be used in 3 dishes that serve between 8-12 people. They also include all the info on the spices and recipe cards that show you exactly how to use them.What could be easier? When they asked me if I'd like to try this out, of course I said yes!
I received 3 packets of spices used in Iranian dishes. Advieh Koresht is a blend of organic rose petals, cinnamon, green cardamom,angelica,Persian lime powder, coriander, cumin, and ground black pepper. These spices are traditionally used in bean stews, so I figured, bean stews, roast favas, how could I go wrong?
Once the favas are dry, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Line a flat cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the favas on it. Roast them in the oven for 15 minutes.
Then take them out, turn them over and roast for another 10 minutes. The favas should be nice and crispy.
In a bowl mix together 3 Tbs of olive oil and 3 Tbs of spice mix.
...and stir them around well to coat them.
Pop the coated favas back into the oven for another 4 minutes. Then take them out, sprinkle with kosher salt to taste, and serve them up.
Coming up next, having learned my lesson with the fresh garbanzos, I saw organic red corn, and rather than waiting, I bought some, sure enough today it was gone! So I learned my lesson, you snooze, you lose. What do I have planned? Follow along on Twitter @kathygori