Lemon-Shallot Fava Beans Recipe

Use fresh, tender fava beans to make this spring appetizer, which includes the flavor of shallots and citrus.

From "Vibrant Food"
March/April 2016

  • Tender, young fava beans are delicious cooked with shallots and red wine vinegar.
    Photo by iStock

Yield: 4 servings

I first had whole, unshelled fava beans at a restaurant, and it was a revelation. Pan-frying them whole eliminates the drudgery of shelling and diminishes waste. Plus, people are almost always pleasantly surprised by their wonderfully charred flavor. Be sure to use tender, young fava beans with soft pods.

Lemon-Shallot Fava Beans Recipe


• 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
• 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
• 1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt
• 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
• 1 pound small fava beans in pods
• 1⁄4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (optional)
• 2 to 3 thin lemon slices, quartered
• Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
• Freshly ground black pepper


1. In a small bowl, toss shallots, vinegar and salt. Set aside, tossing occasionally.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add about 1⁄2 the fava beans in a single layer—you’ll likely have to work in batches. Fry without disturbing until skin begins to blister and char, 4 to 6 minutes. Flip beans and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, removing as they char. The pods will pop as steam builds inside—a few may burst, so be careful. Remove to a wide serving dish. Repeat with remaining beans.

3. Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and red pepper flakes to shallot marinade.

4. Toss beans with dressing and lemon slices. Finish with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Find more color-filled seasonal recipes in Make Colorful, Healthy Spring Recipes.

Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Food by Kimberley Hasselbrink.