Fresh Fava Beans with Pecorino and Meyer Lemon Olive Oil

Source: Linda Carucci, Culinary Director of the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of California-San Francisco and author of Cooking School Secrets for Real World Cooks (Chronicle Books, 2005)

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It was prepared as part of CUESA’s Market to Table program on May 7, 2011

Serves 4 to 6


3 pounds fresh fava beans
2 to 4 tablespoons Meyer lemon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint and/or oregano leaves
2 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, chopped into pellet-size pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


1.    Remove fava beans from pods. Blanch beans in 2 quarts boiling, salted water: If you have both large and small beans, divide and blanch large beans 2 minutes and small beans 1 minute. Drain and transfer beans to a bowl of salted ice water to stop the cooking and set the color. To remove tough, transparent skins from beans, locate the part of the bean that connected it to the pod. Pinch open the opposite end and slip the bean out. You should have about 1½ cups peeled beans.

2.    Place beans in a medium mixing bowl and toss with lemon olive oil and fresh herbs. Add cheese, toss and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cautionary Note about Eating Fava Beans

People who take MAO-inhibitor antidepressants are advised not to eat fava beans. Also, favas have been known to cause severe anemia in people who suffer from an inherited deficiency enzyme phosphate dehydrogenase.

Photo by Branda Dang


Farmers Market Ingredients