With spring here so are fresh fava beans. After they are shelled though what to do with all the pods? Normally I make a vegetable stock. Then I thought why not use them like other beans. Of course you can add the whole pods with the beans to stir frys much like snow peas, but what about just the skins. So I sliced the pods into thin strips and sauteed them with onion and carrots. The flavor is fantastic, think green beans but with a slightly fuzzy texture. The texture was a problem for Katherine but I liked it. Then I thought why not use them as a base under steamed mussels. The result was perfect. You can substitute green beans if fava beans are not available.
Steamed Mussels over Fava Bean Pods
- 3 dozen mussels scrubbed
- 15 fava bean pods cut into thin 2″ strips
- 4 carrots cut into thin 2″ strips
- 1 cup red onion sliced very thin
- Remaining red onion chopped roughly
- 6 garlic cloves chopped in half
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup water
- 2 bay leaves
In a large stock pot heat 1 tbsp olive oil and saute garlic and onion chunks until they begin to brown. Add wine, water, lemon juice and lemon, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add mussels, cover pot and turn heat to medium low. Steam for 5 minutes then stir mussels. Recover and steam 2 minutes more then remove pan from heat and let sit for 10 minutes covered. In a frying pan heat 2 tbsp butter and saute red onion slices over medium heat until they begin to brown. Add carrots and cook until they soften then add fava bean pods. Saute until the pods turn bright green and then remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Strain mussels reserving the broth. Remove mussels from vegetable matter and discard any that did not open. To serve spoon fried vegetables into bowls top with mussels and pour broth over top. Serve with thick toasted bread.