Fresh Fava beans Dip
Fava beans or broad beans are legumes that grow in pods during the spring. They are mild tasting, creamy, and delicious! I just planted some in my garden this season. And, I will keep you updated on how they turn out!
Fava beans are used in many dishes, especially in Middle Eastern, African, and European cuisines. They can either be eaten raw or cooked and even freeze well. Fava beans can be mainly found dried since it preserves the beans and makes them easy to use. Dried beans are also cheaper to buy than fresh beans, and they can be rehydrated to be used in many different ways, such as in sauces and snack dips.
Fava beans have many layers. There are usually five to six beans inside soft pods, and each of the beans has tough skin. When the skin is removed, you are left with a soft, tender bean with a clear outer layer that usually separates from the bean when you blanch with hot water.
How to Prepare Fava Beans
How you prepare fava beans entirely depends on how you want to use them and how young the beans are. You can tell how old or young the beans are by checking the softness of the outer shell. The softer the shell is, the younger the beans are. If you want to eat the entire bean, including the pod, remove any strings on both sides and chop them into smaller, 1-inch long pieces. Most people who cook entire beans sauté them with onions, garlic, and cilantro with some lemon. This is how my mom would make them, and it was always so delicious.
The beans can also be taken out of the pods and used in dips, salads, sauce, or included as risotto. If you have fresh fava beans, open the pod and remove individual beans by snapping the stem off the pods and pulling along the attached string. Then, you can peel the skin on the beans by blanching them in hot water for about 5 minutes. Once they are finished blanching, put them in an ice bath, and then use your thumb for popping the beans out of the skin.
Dry fava beans are the easiest to prepare. You just need to soak the beans a day before in some water. Adding a little bit of baking soda will also speed up the process. Once they are soft, you can cook them in a pot with lots of water until they become soft. In the Middle East, fava beans are street food, and they tend to be boiled and then served in paper cups topped with cumin, salt, and lemon juice.
What is Foul Mudammas?
Foul Mudammas is a popular Middle Eastern breakfast dish or dips similar to hummus. It is essentially a stew made from dry fava beans that are cooked into a dip. Foul itself means bean in Arabic. The beans are crushed by a mortar and pestle to make a creamy, flavorful dish. There is also a spicy green sauce that is added to the top. This sauce grinds garlic, jalapeno peppers, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper into a tangy, spicy sauce. Foul Mudammas is typically served with freshly made pita bread.
Fresh fava beans dip with herbs and feta cheese
When I made fresh fava beans I like to add roasted garlic since it has a sweeter, milder flavor that is nutty and pairs well with the taste of fava beans. I also add fresh cilantro and mint to brighten up the flavors. The traditional way to make foul is to use a mortar and pestle, but you can also use a food processor to speed the process up.
|2 lb fresh fava beans prepared (about 6 oz of fresh beans)|
|½ small shallots (diced)|
|4 cloves roasted garlic (with 2 tablespoons of olive oil)|
|1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper (chopped)|
|1 teaspoon coriander|
|Juice of one lemon|
|¼ cup fresh mint (chopped)|
|¼ cup fresh cilantro (chopped)|
|2 tablespoon feta cheese (leave out if you want it vegan)|
|Salt and pepper to taste|