Most people know about fava beans
, but did you know the greens are also edible? Tender and succulent, they are a lovely way to enjoy fava flavor without the laborious process of preparing the beans (though that is one of our favorite spring rituals
, too). Snipped from the top of the plant, fava leaves are sweet with a slightly buttery, earthy flavor. They really do taste remarkably like the beans and can be eaten raw or cooked. In a salad or pesto, they provide a nice burst of spring grassiness. Wilted or sautéed like spinach, they can be used in pasta dishes, piled on top of toast, or cooked into a quiche.
Look for fava greens at farmers' markets or harvest them from your own garden, if you grow the plants. Store the leaves in a plastic bag or container in the refrigerator, and eat within a couple of days.
Here are a few recipes to try:
• Fava Green, Grapefruit, and Flower Salad (Sunset)
• Fava Green Pesto (New York Times)
• Fava Greens on Toast (DigginFood)
Related: Seasonal Spotlight: Pea Shoots
(Images: Emily Ho)