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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fava Beans with Artichoke Hearts

You know those type of dishes that your mother makes but you don't really like, then you still have to eat it because you have to.  Fava beans (or broad beans) were one of those things I didn't enjoy as a child.  Lucky for me that the season for fava beans were very short.  I came to appreciate them long after I left home. Maybe, because there was nobody to cook them for me and they turned into something that reminds me home.  I also probably realized that they are actually very tasty.  This is a slightly modified recipe from my mother's one, because she actually fills the artichokes with the fava beans.  I bought some already prepared and cooked artichokes at the market.  Alternatively you can use tinned ones, but if you do then pick the ones without olive oil.  This dish is served cold and it's originally a meze, but can be served as a salad or starter as well. 

Fava Beans with Artichoke Hearts
 (Makes 4 portions as a starter)
900 g fava bean pods - shelled (beans makes about 300 g when shelled)
1 medium size onion - finely chopped
20 small artichoke hearts - prepared and cooked (or about 2 cans of artichoke hearts)
1 teaspoon salt
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
a handful of fresh dill to garnish
If you have shelled your beans and ready to go, first you need to boil the beans in water for about 5 minutes.  This is apparently to get rid of the slightly bitter taste.  After boiling is finished, drain the water and set the beans aside.  Put about 1 tablespoon of olive oil on a non-stick pan and saute the onions for about 2-3 minutes over medium-high heat.  Next add the fava beans and a cup of water.  Cover the pan with a lid and let the beans cook over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes until they are tender but not too soft.  Keep checking regularly if there is still a bit water in the pan to prevent the beans sticking to the bottom. If necessary add in some hot water, but not too much as you don't want it to look like a soup in the end.  Next, add in the artichoke hearts and let it simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes. When it's done, set it aside and let it cool.  When it is cold enough, add in the rest of the olive oil, as this will bring out the flavors of the beans and artichokes.  Garnish with dill leaves before serving. 
It's vacation time for me soon, therefore, the posts will be a little less for a while, but I'll keep you all posted with my culinary adventures from Turkey (and mainly my mom's food).


  1. They do say that fruits that come into season together taste good together and this is a testament to that! Great dish. Have a fun vacation!

  2. Excellent - I make this but add lemon and egg - beat well and pour over the top - a sort of creamy sauce is formed!