Dried Fava Bean and Green Pepper Bell Pepper Salad

Dried Fava Bean and Green Pepper Bell Pepper Salad
  •         1 cup dried fava beans with skins
  •         1 small bell pepper (about 1 cup when cut)
  •         1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

 The Dressing
  •        5 T olive oil
  •         4 T lemon juice
  •         3/4 t salt
  •         1/8 t ground black pepper
  •         1 clove garlic, peeled and mashed to a pulp
  1. Combine beans and 5 cups water in a pot, bring to boil. Cover, lower heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off heat let sit for 1 hour.
  2. Bring to a boil again. Cover and let simmer for 30-50 minutes. Cook until tender. Drain under cool water.
  3. Peel beans and discard skins. Combine all ingredients. Stir gently, pour dressing over contents. Enjoy!!
Middle East origin.

Available in several forms. Fresh, hidden inside large green pods. Open the pods and extract the beans. The beans themselves are also clothed in their own "seed coats" or skins, which are hard and tasteless. Unless the beans are very young and tender, these skins need to be removed.

Here is the best way to cook them: Boil the beans for about 10 minutes in lightly salted water. They should be quite tender inside their coats. Now they are ready to be peeled. Drain and let them cool under running water first. Two pounds of pods yield about 2 to 2 and a half cups of beans. Discard the peel. They taste a bit like fresh lima beans.

Then there are the dried fava beans which are available year-round at Chinese, Greek and Middle Eastern stores. They come without their pods, of course, but you can get them with or without their skins. They taste somewhat like chestnuts after they have been cooked. I boil them for 2 minutes and then let them sit in hot water for 1 hour. Then boil them for another 30 45 minutes or until they are just tender. The beans can be put in salads or pureed and put into scrambled eggs.