fava bean

Pronunciation: [FAH-vuh]

This tan, rather flat bean resembles a very large lima bean. It comes in a large pod that, unless very young, is inedible. Fava beans can be purchased dried, cooked in cans and, infrequently, fresh. If you find fresh fava beans, choose those with pods that aren't bulging with beans, which indicates age. Fava beans have a very tough skin, which should be removed by blanching before cooking. Habas are dried favas with the skins removed. They're very popular in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, can be cooked in a variety of ways and are often used in soups. Also called faba bean, broad bean and horse bean. See also beans.

From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Market Watch: Fava Beans

Rumor has it they’re incredibly hard to shell so I’ve avoided fava beans in the past. As it turns out I was worried over nothing.

Salad of the Month: Quinoa, Fava Beans and Peas

Packed with fava beans, fresh herbs and peas, this salad will bring spring to the table in an instant.

In Season: Green Beans

Here are some green bean basics and healthy ways to prepare this summer crop.

Legume to Love: Beans

Beans are one of the oldest foods known to humanity and it’s no wonder why. With the multitude of varieties, versatility and nutritional benefits, what more can you ask for?

Mexican Bean Salad

This bean salad is perfect for any celebration, but it bursts of flavor from cumin and avocado make it ideal for Cinco de Mayo.

Market Watch: Shell Beans

Also known as “cranberry” beans, these red and beige beauties are all over my market right now. They made an unusual addition to my summer succotash.

Market Watch: String Beans

Also known as snap beans or green beans, string beans aren’t just for Thanksgiving casseroles.

Bean Count: The Great Jelly Bean Debate

Black is the only flavor jelly bean sold by the whole bag. Do you leave the black jelly beans behind?

Katie’s Healthy Bites: Beans, Beans, Good for Your Heart

Beans might get a bad rap, but they’re extremely good for you! An excellent source of complex carbs, protein and fiber, they’re also chock full of vitamins and minerals (calcium, potassium, B6 and folate to name a few). Here are some good summer recipes featuring white beans.