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)