April 12, 2011

Lemon Garlic Fava Beans & Mushrooms

by IsaChandra

Serves 4
Total time: 30 minutes || Active time: 30 minutes

No matter what the stress of the day is, or what the stress of the world is, as long as I have a pot of beans simmering away on the stovetop, I have no worries.

This week I’ve got a pot of fava. The career of my beans tend to follow a similar trajectory; the first day they’re the star of the show, left whole and prominent. Tomorrow they’ll take a supporting role in maybe a hummus or a croquette. And then finally I’ll throw whatever is left over into a soup, stew or pasta as a minor player.

Fava is a bean’s bean – big, meaty, and toothsome. They’re epic, really. And so I like to use strong bold flavors when I cook with them. This dish is savory and saucy with lots of garlic, thyme and lemon. I left the mushrooms nice and big, too, so that they can go toe to toe with the fava beans. A sprinkle of breadcrumbs adds a nice toasty flavor and thickens the sauce for maximum delish-ness.

To play up the earthiness, I love to serve this with a wild rice blend (again, something I cook a big pot of and use throughout the week) and grilled tempeh. The tempeh is marinated in basically the same ingredients: lemon, olive oil, garlic and thyme (you can use this recipe as a guide if you like) and then grilled. A roasted veggie like cauliflower or broccoli is perfect here, too.

If you’re not quite a bean-soaker yet, you should know that it’s really easy! Soak overnight, rinse and add fresh new water, then simply simmer away until they are cooked through (1 to 3 hours depending on the beans.) So even though they may take some time, it takes minimal effort and you hardly have to pay them any mind. I flavor mine with a stick of kombu, but a bay leaf and a little salt works, too.

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small red onion, cut into thin half moons
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced in half
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs (plain or seasoned)
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
Lots of fresh black pepper
3 cups cooked fava beans (or two 15 oz cans, rinsed and drained)

Optional: Slivered green onions for garnish

Preheat a large pan over medium heat. Saute onion in oil with a pinch of salt for 5 to 7 minutes, until slightly browned. Add garlic and thyme, and saute one minute. Add mushrooms and cook to release moisture, about 5 minutes.

Add bread crumbs, toss to coat everything and toast crumbs for 3 to 5 minutes. Add veg broth, black pepper, salt, lemon zest and juice and fava beans. Bring to a boil. Let reduce and thicken, 7 minutes or so. Taste for salt and seasoning and serve, topped with green onions.

  • April 12, 2011 at 3:57 pm: DSMpolis

    I’ve found the crockpot to be an excellently easy way to cook beans. I put roughly 3 cups of beans in the crockpot, a bay leaf, 1 Tbsp of salt and fill it up with water. I can put it on when I go to work, and when I come back, perfectly cooked beans.

  • April 12, 2011 at 4:18 pm: Melissa

    looks delicious!! I love the crock pot idea as well. How much does 3 cups of beans yeild? how much water do you add?

  • April 12, 2011 at 8:32 pm: Jojo

    Damn, that looks delicious as always!

  • April 12, 2011 at 9:01 pm: Emily Niev

    This sounds awesome. I can’t wait to try this. I’ve never had fava beans, but now I have the perfect excuse.

  • April 12, 2011 at 9:47 pm: Jennifer

    I also use the crock pot. I soak the night before and put them on to simmer while I’m going.

  • April 13, 2011 at 12:58 pm: Joanna goes vegan

    Great dinner option. I love it :-)

  • April 13, 2011 at 2:55 pm: Catalina

    I have fallen in love with fava beans and plan to make this soon.

  • April 13, 2011 at 3:01 pm: Katie@Cozydelicious

    I love fava beans! And I love your bean progession from star to soup. Totally smart and tantastic. And this dish looks so tasty!

  • April 13, 2011 at 4:42 pm: VegWhoHatesTofu

    This looks so yummy! I love mushrooms! I’ve never had fava beans though, I’ll have to give them a try :)

  • April 13, 2011 at 8:26 pm: Maggie

    Do you think it’d work to sub the mushrooms for something, like maybe zucchini? I hate mushrooms :(

    • April 13, 2011 at 9:58 pm: IsaChandra

      I think zukes would be nice! A

  • April 13, 2011 at 11:07 pm: jodye @ 'scend food

    lemon, garlic, and fava beans may be my most consumed food lately. This dish looks wonderful, and I’m sure the mushrooms add a satisfying heartiness to the meal!

  • April 14, 2011 at 3:57 am: Paula

    This recipe looks so good! I’m gonna make it with my fancy Rancho Gordo Christmas Lima’s.

  • April 15, 2011 at 12:57 pm: Deepak

    I love fava beans! And I love your bean progession from star to soup. Totally smart and tantastic. And this dish looks so tasty!

  • April 15, 2011 at 12:58 pm: Krunal

    I’ve found the crockpot to be an excellently easy way to cook beans. I put roughly 3 cups of beans in the crockpot, a bay leaf, 1 Tbsp of salt and fill it up with water. I can put it on when I go to work, and when I come back, perfectly cooked beans.

  • April 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm: Kristine Genovese

    I made this the other night for my family and friends and it was a HUGE HIT! So yummy and filling!

  • April 17, 2011 at 6:27 am: Tanja

    I made this with black beans and it was delicious. a nice combination of flavours.

  • April 18, 2011 at 11:30 pm: Kitchen Shaman

    I love Fava Beans. I discovered them, and discovered they love mushrooms. I make a Fava Bean Cassoulet that’s my partner’s favorite. This sounds just as delicious.

  • April 19, 2011 at 8:40 pm: Jamie

    I’ve heard of many people having a pot of beans on the stove (very low heat obviously) for as long as a week. Just slowly bubbling away ready to go when you get home and throw them into whatever dish you like day after day. Is this what you do? Do you have any recommendations to keep beans from getting overcooked or gross if I want to keep a pot of means going for more than one crockpot batch?


  • April 20, 2011 at 5:02 pm: sneakers

    Why have I not had fava beans before? LOVE.

  • April 22, 2011 at 3:16 pm: keri

    Because I overcooked the dried favas I soaked overnight into MUSH, I ended up having to improvise with some ingredients. I added seitan and garbanzo beans and it was DEEE-licious!!!!! So tasty, I love lemon based sauces.

  • April 24, 2011 at 11:33 am: amy

    i love the rancho gordo 90-minute no-soak bean cooking method! ever since i was introduced to it, it’s the only way i ever cook dried beans and it always gives great results. definitely want to try this recipe!

  • April 24, 2011 at 4:59 pm: paula

    i’m making this with some Rancho Gordo christmas lima beans tonight! excited!

  • April 28, 2011 at 3:43 pm: Jen

    Sounds good. Smells good. Not sure when I was supposed to add the small red onion in the recipe though…

    • April 28, 2011 at 3:55 pm: IsaChandra

      Thanks! It says “Saute onion in oil with a pinch of salt for 5 to 7 minutes”

  • April 30, 2011 at 5:25 pm: Cara

    I just made this recipe today – amazing! Hearty and delicious – definitely going into my regular rotation!

  • May 5, 2011 at 4:02 am: Laurie

    Hmm. How come nobody has mentioned the de-jacketing of the fava beans? My favas came from the Whole Foods bulk bins, and they were beige with a greenish cast and a plumpy black line. After googling, it seemed like I’d have to boil them and then squeeze them out of their skins, which I’m now in the middle of (taking a break!). Just wondering if everyone else might have bought handier, no-need-for-skinning favas, somehow. Love how they taste so far, by the way…!

    • May 5, 2011 at 6:12 am: IsaChandra

      Yes, these were made with dried fava beans. Fresh do taste great, but of course I don’t always have them handy.

  • May 10, 2011 at 4:56 am: Ms. Forgothebroth

    Oh no!! Im making this now…on the bean stage and realized I dont have Veg Broth!! What can I use as a substitute? Hot water?? All the reputable grocery stores I shop at are closed by now.. :(

  • May 17, 2011 at 2:19 am: msmgis

    This was delicious!

  • May 21, 2011 at 3:42 am: Monica

    Wow! I had never tried fava beans before (probably because of Hannibal Lector) but now they will become a staple. This was so good!

  • June 28, 2011 at 12:31 am: Jessica

    I couldn’t find canned fava beans and I was too lazy to cook some up from scratch, so I made this with white beans and served it over crispy slices of polenta. It was amazing! Thanks so much!

  • July 4, 2011 at 9:43 pm: Brandy

    LOL @Monica I never tried fava beans either, but this picture looks sooooo good I can’t wait to try it.

  • August 4, 2011 at 2:52 am: Nicole

    Perfect with all my yummy farmer’s market goodies. Served with a bed of millet and a side of sauteed greens. Keep ’em coming Isa!

  • November 9, 2011 at 7:38 am: Robert Arbon

    Made this last night – delicious! Although the full flavours only come through once you’ve let it cool and then reheat again.

  • February 13, 2012 at 6:07 pm: kate

    Any subs for the breadcrumbs to make it gluten free? Some ground slivered almonds?

    • February 13, 2012 at 7:22 pm: IsaChandra

      That sounds good. I usually use GF pretzels to make breadcrumbs, they work very well.

  • March 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm: Emily

    This was incredible!!!! I absolutely loved it. I was craving spuds so I served it on cubed boiled potatoes with a side of kale. It’s flavors reminded me of a dish my mom made a few times when I was a child. Thank you Isa.

  • April 23, 2012 at 5:55 pm: Genki Kitty

    Sooo amazing! I loved this, it reminded me a lot of Ful Madamas. Yum! Thanks for the new recipe!

  • May 8, 2012 at 2:14 pm: Elaine

    I’m in the process of making this dish as I write this. I read that you have to peel the skin off of the fava bean. Is that necessary?

  • November 16, 2012 at 1:21 am: Ali

    i went to three different grocery stores and couldn’t find fava beans (and one store was a specialty natural foods store too!) so i substituted kidney beans. it was delicious! really wish i could find fava beans though…

  • November 21, 2012 at 5:31 am: BMAC.

    I used some white wine in place of stock. Green onions were a must. I might reduce the sauce down further, or add a little bit less lemon juice. We liked!

  • December 11, 2012 at 12:17 am: Lauren

    As a fava bean enthusiast, I was pumped to find a recipe that puts them front and center. This dish is so incredibly delicious (the lemon juice really made the dish for me–added just the right extra kick). I know what I’ll be making all winter!

  • March 10, 2013 at 3:24 pm: Jill

    I made this a few days ago and it was a hit with my meat-eating dad! I didn’t have a lemon, so I used lemon pepper instead and it seemed to work out pretty well. Also, I couldn’t find fava beans, so I used a mixture of butter beans and lima beans. Such a filling recipe!

  • July 17, 2013 at 7:09 pm: Martina

    Did you have to peel the fava beans after soaking?……I have beautiful big dried fava beans but I’m afraid I will have to peel them

  • August 28, 2013 at 3:53 pm: Sarah

    Made this today as I had virtually no food in the house. Used borlotti beans instead as that was all I could find! I wasn’t expecting much but it was delish! Had it with some chunky wholegrain bread for a filling lunch.

  • October 28, 2013 at 1:07 am: Liz

    Also bought dried Fava Beans at Whole Foods and after perusing many suggestions it became clear that no, you do not have to hull the beans. Use them just as you bought them. One said if hulled and split, they’ll disintegrate when cooked. They suggested 3 hours of slow simmer and mine came out great that way even though the store’s directions said 40-45 min.

  • December 24, 2013 at 1:46 pm: Robin

    Love this dish. Making it for my Christmas meal for the 3rd year in a row! Usually get canned fava beans. Found dried yesterday. Package says not to soak! Wish me luck! This serves as the star of my plate accompanied by curried carrots and your green bean casserole!

  • December 26, 2013 at 7:50 pm: Robin

    This was delicious last night. My 3rd time making it and I cooked the beans rather than using canned and implemented a few tweaks based on my notes from last year. I doubled the garlic and cut the lemon in half. It was fantastic!!!

  • March 31, 2014 at 8:34 pm: Katlynn

    what beans could I sub for Fava beans? thanks!

  • April 7, 2014 at 8:36 pm: Rachel lindblad

    Just eaten this. Magnificent! Thanks for the recipe x

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  • November 4, 2015 at 5:50 pm: Sylvia Felix

    Thank you. I received two cans in a box of donated food. Although I am familiar with red, pink, pinto, black and white beans, I have no knowledge of favar. (Other than Dr. Hannibal Lecter’s infamous reference) Question: You recommend toasting the breadcrumbs, before you add them or as you add them. Please clarify.
    Good. Now I have a place to start. Thanks again.

  • June 20, 2016 at 7:19 pm: Karen

    I made this tonight but did it with fresh fava (known as broad beans in the uk) and edame beans really tasty