Nibbling on some lovely peeled fava beans from the test garden at a lunch earlier this week, I remembered a trick I’d learned at Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen in the Napa Valley. Chef Cindy Pawlcyn, also chef of the legendary Mustards Grill, lets diners do the work of peeling the favas. She coats whole pods with a little olive oil and sea salt, then throws them on the grill. The beans steam in their pods; then, as diners peel them, their fingers pick up the salt and season the beans. Brilliant!
I whipped up a batch to try it out, and they flew out of the test kitchen.
Fava beans from our test garden
Cindy Pawlcyn’s easy-peel fava beans
2 lbs. fava beans in the pod, rinsed and patted dry
Extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt
In a big bowl, toss favas with oil to coat. Sprinkle generously with salt and toss again. Dump them onto a hot grill and spread out in a single layer with tongs. Cover grill and cook favas until grill marks appear, turning once, 5 to 6 minutes total.