Landscaping & Nursery Information for Home Gardeners
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The Fava or Faba bean is a member of the Vicia genus which includes most of the vetches. While a legume, it is a distant cousin to the garden snap bean. Other common terms include Broad Bean, Horse Bean, English Bean, and Windsor Bean.

Fava beans are shelled like lima beans. However, the skin is tough and shelling is time consuming. Bean seeds are generally a bright green though they may be tinged with red, purple or brown. Unlike lima beans, they aren't starchy tasting. And surprising, they do go well with a good Chianti.

The Fava bean plant is sown in the fall and pods harvested the following spring and summer. Shell immediately and store beans in the refrigerator for no more than a couple of days. Beans may be frozen. Like lima beans, small young pods produce a better tasting bean, though mature large pods can be harvested and beans dried.

To prepare, cut ends from the pods, open and pop out bean. Drop into boiling water for half a minute, drain and plunge into ice water. Slip skins off individual seeds.

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