Whole Grilled Fava Beans

Source: Louisa Shafia, The New Persian Kitchen

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on May 4, 2013.
Favas are especially rich and creamy beans, and Persians use them often. Peeling fresh favas is tedious, though, which is why I love this straightforward method of cooking and eating the entire bean, pod and all. This is a very casual (read “messy”) dish that is best made in spring when favas first appear and are still small and tender. If you miss the first of the favas, don’t worry, as you can still grill favas that are bigger and more mature later in the season; you just won’t be able to eat the fibrous pods. In that case, rake the pods with your teeth to pull out the beans, like you would with edamame, and you’ll still get the full garlicky flavor of the marinade.

Serves 4


1 pound small, tender fava beans in the pod
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon dried thyme, or 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
¼ cup grape seed oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste


1.    To remove the strings on either side of the fava bean, cut off the stem with a paring knife and pull it gently down one side of the pod; most of the thick string should come off. Do the same on the other side.

2.    In a large bowl, whisk together the garlic, thyme, oil, and vinegar. Add the favas, season with the salt and pepper, and toss well to coat.

3.    Prepare a hot grill.

4.    Place the favas on the grill in a single layer, in batches if necessary. Grill for 8 to 10 minutes, basting often with the marinade. The pods will char and become soft. Turn them over and cook on the second side for 6 to 8 minutes. Test a pod to see if it’s chewy and if the beans inside are tender. Transfer to a plate and serve warm.

Visit Louisa Shafia at www.lucidfood.com.

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