Monday, August 27

Day 240: Fava Beans

The weekend before last we rode our bikes out to Djurgården to see that wonder Hemslöjd exhibit celebrating 100 years of crafting in Sweden. After viewing the many beautiful crafts and making one of my own I suggested that we head over to Rosendal's Trädgården to have lunch at their outdoor garden cafe. The weather was glorious and the food there is always delicious and fresh and satisfying. After our relaxing lunch in the garden we debated whether or not to ride our bikes home or take the ferry. But the weather was so nice we decided we couldn't pass up the ride. Before we headed home I went to the restroom and on my way there I saw a small farmer's market corner where the gardening association was selling some of their homegrown products. My eyes expanded as I looked over the fresh goods being wheeled in at that very moment and I practically ran back to get my husband. They had fresh fava beans, called bondböner in Swedish, and I had to have some! Among the other other selections from their beautiful array of produce we also bought beets, lettuce and carrots, all grown organically on their farm just a hop skip and a jump from the cafe. I was also pretty excited about the beets but top on my list to try were the fava beans.

In all fairness I've never actually cooked fava beans so my strange over excitement surprised even me. I guess it was partly due to their intriguing size and texture. They are like giant sugar snap peas only fuzzy on the outside and I didn't know this previously but there is a lot of cushiony stuff on the inside protecting these tiny little beans. After you slice them open and take the beans out they are still covered in a thick white shell. You then have to drop them into a pot of salted boiling water for a few minutes and then drain and dunk them in a cold water bath. Once they are cooled to the touch you gently squeeze them and out pops a tiny bright green bean. I barely had a handful of beans when all was said and done so I decided to use them to garnish my warm goat cheese and beet salad, drizzled with a homemade orange balsamic vinaigrette.

It was absolutely delicious with the pan seared goat cheese medallions and though difficult to taste my beloved fava beans, I was proud of myself and happy that I tried something new. Will I buy them again and go through all of that work for just the smallest of rewards? I am not sure but I will recommend that if you want to try them I would plan to buy a couple of grocery bags full of them. They yield a minuscule amount compared to their original state and you burn more calories getting to the beans than actually eating them.


  1. Hey Grace...they are called broad beans in the UK...and I grew them for the first time...didnt know what I had been missing! To be honest...we ate the shell too! I will grow them again in October as they are fairly hardy here...for next spring. Right now, I have runner beans and green beans...the tomatoes unfortunately, have all died with blight....I've got to bet my brussel sprouts and leeks in (first time this year) for the winter...and plant some more lettuces (the rest have bolted. Carrots on there way some you lose some...but how I love to grow stuff (although it is almost all in containers!!!

    Let's talk soon...

    1. Oh wow! Debbie those recipes look awesome - thanks! A woman who was standing by the stall said that you could eat the whole bean but when I looked online to find recipes and how to's everyone said to not eat the shell. Well, they said it could be tough. Would love to know how you cooked them! Wish we could garden here! One day! For now I will live vicariously through you! ;-)