You may have already heard me talk about this, but I’ve started a tradition at the Hollywood Farmers’ Market. Every Sunday I visit the market with a $20 bill. That and every week I have to buy one thing I have never tried to cook or eat before. Last week I posted about lobster mushrooms. This week my item is a 2-pound bag of dried fava beans. Beans are the starving artist’s best friend: both healthy AND cheap (not to mention delicious). Normally you read about me making recipes with canned beans. And who can blame me? At 89 cents a can, it’s a no-brainer. But the truth is that dried beans, particularly when bought in bulk, are often even cheaper. Yes, they’re a *bit* more effort, but come on, is it really that hard to throw them in a pot of water and let them sit overnight? And what’s better is that for next to nothing you can impart so much flavor and coax such incredible texture when you cook them yourself. What’s not to love?
I confess I have only had fava beans on a few occasions and don’t really have a memory for their flavor. I went for them because they were unique and seemed worth exploring… after I got them home I learned a very valuable fact: you have to peel them. Every single one of them. And I have two pounds… that is a LOT of fava beans. Though I’m all for taking the time to soak beans, I really wasn’t planning on having to peel the damn things. The good news is that there are so many, I’ll be able to use them in several different ways. But, right now I’m still peeling….