Alder Burns wrote:I'm becoming more and more impressed with favas also. They seem to be the easy choice for a grain legume here in our Mediterranean climate where most of the rain is over the winter. I plant them in October and they are dried down by midsummer or earlier. Usually only a few irrigations are needed, in the spring. I could probably dispense with these most years and still get a smaller crop.
I'm mostly interested in them as a dry bean.....a storable food staple comparable to dry beans or soybeans. Shelling them to eat green seems like a lot of work....I'd rather do that once and have it done, and usually I have a lot of other green veggies to eat. Quite a few resources say that the coat around each individual bean needs to be popped off, too.....ugh! But this same coat is a problem with the dry ones too. I think I have digestive issues with too much fiber so I'm interested in getting rid of that coating easily. It won't slough off after soaking, with or without quick boiling (as is done with soybeans to make tempeh---which is another thing I wish I could do with favas and so far failed at). What I've come up with so far that works pretty well is to crack them into pieces in a food processor, then stir this vigorously in a bucket. This will make most of the hulls come loose from the pieces of bean and they can be winnowed off by pouring the lot between 2 buckets out in the breeze. There will always be a few to pick off anyway but it's a lot better than picking them all out or eating them. My favorite way to cook them is with curry spices, as a dhal, and eaten with rice or other starchy base. I think they would be good cooked with ham like split dry peas, too.
I found a company in Canada that offers something like 20 varieties, more than I've seen elsewhere, and made trial of six or eight. Broad Windsor turned out to be the best for me....big, productive, and vigorous. There's a red-flowered variety, Cambridge Scarlet, that I'm saving seed and growing even though it's smaller, just because it's so pretty in bloom.....yay favas!