Califonia Bountiful
Main Dish

Fava bean ragout

Preparing favas, first shucking, then peeling the skins, is time-consuming, but chef Gayle Pirie points out that if you have company, doing this task becomes social and festive. And once you know how to prepare fava beans, the number of dishes you can prepare will be bountiful!

Chef/Co-owner Gayle Pirie
Foreign Cinema, San Francisco

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1 large clove garlic
1 small sprig rosemary
3 lb. fava beans
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Juice of 1/2 lemon


Peel and chop garlic very fine. Strip rosemary leaves. Set aside. Shell fava beans and discard pods. Bring a pot of water to boil, add beans and simmer for 1 minute. Drain and cool in ice water. Pierce the outer waxy skin between your thumb and forefinger and remove the outer skin from the bean.

Place peeled beans in a saucepan with a mixture of half water and half olive oil, just to cover them. Add garlic and rosemary and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes or until tender, depending on the size of the beans. Squeeze lemon over beans to finish.

Once prepared, these favas are terrific in pastas, over soft polenta or as an accompaniment to meat, fish or poultry.

Serves 4

See related recipe fava bean puree.

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