Some people like the ritual of shelling and peeling fava beans, but the two-step process is still labor-intensive. After getting the beans out of their pods, they still have to be blanched in boiling water, then dunked in ice water, before the pesky skins come off easily. Here's a tip for peeling them that doesn't require the stove or a single drop of water: use your freezer!
- Shuck the fava beans out of their pods, then place them in a single layer on a baking sheet or plate.
- Place in the freezer until the fava beans are frozen solid, at least 30 minutes. (If not using immediately, transfer them to a resealable plastic bag and keep frozen.)
- Let the fava beans sit at room temperature until they're defrosted, it should take about 10 to 15 minutes. You'll know they're ready when the skins start to look wrinkly.
- Pop the fava beans out of their skins and they're ready to cook.
Easy, right? No need to fire up the stove or waste any water.
Since favas are only available in the spring and are hard to find frozen, stock up when you see them. If you stash the unpeeled beans in the freezer, you can defrost, peel, and use them at your leisure throughout the year!
(Image credits: Christine Gallary)