It's February 10, 2016 and our winter crop of horse beans (a.k.a. fava beans) are just starting to flower. We love to grow these every year because in addition to looking lovely in our raised beds, they produce a wonderful crop of large beans we can eat fresh (our favorite garden treat) or use to make soups. We also saute the succulent greens as an easy side dish.
Once they are done producing we chop up the plants and till the back in the soil as a rich source of nitrogen.
I sacrificed one of the flower sets so you could see one up close (for those who don't grow their own). The flowers are quite lovely, little soft white buds with pretty dark-brown, purplish "eyes".
fava bean flowers
This is more of a method than a recipe. You can just saute these greens like you would fresh spinach.
4 cups fava bean leaves, rinsed, then spin to dry
1 clove garlic, crushed or minced
2-3 teaspoons olive or avocado oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon sugar (optional)
Heat the oil in a heavy saute pan over medium high heat. Add the garlic clove and saute until it is just lightly golden. Add the greens and stir. Cover and all the greens to steam. Cook just until they are limp. Serve immediately as a side to any meat or pasta dish.
Read author Russ Klettke blog A Guy's Gotta Eat where he keeps us up to date good nutrition and simple meals for a guy on the move.