We’re suckers for foods that are not everyday staples, especially beans. This recipe uses fava beans which, for the vast majority of people, are tasty and nutritious. (We do note the very real condition known as favism, a serious hereditary allergic reaction, meaning those suffering obviously should avoid them.)
This Ful Medames version is basic and quick — lemon, garlic, olive oil and parsley — but traditional variations abound (including long-simmered with tomatoes, served hot, chopped hard boiled eggs, cumin flavored, etc.). Ful Medames is traditionally served as an Egyptian breakfast with pita bread but we eat ours for lunch, supper, and snacks. Spread on pita bread or celery and enjoy with a a sparkling beverage for a very refreshing summer treat.
1 cup dried fava beans, soaked overnight in water to cover by 3-5″.
1 1/2 lemons, juiced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Shell the soaked fava beans once they have soaked overnight. The skins are tough and will be discarded. Boil the shelled beans for about 15 minutes until they start to break apart and taste cooked. Times will vary depending upon how long they’ve soaked, age, etc. Strain in a colander. Add remaining ingredients, mix and adjust seasonings. Some recipes increase the amount of oil and a few even puree the ingredients but we like ours chunky.
Alternative Version: Bob’s Red Mill sells skinless Fava beans which makes this recipe even easier. Either pre-soak the beans overnight or quick-soak (bring to boil and let sit covered one hour). Pressure cook 4-6 minutes or boil 15-20 minutes as above. The beans will be crumbling so you may not even need to mash. Drain and add remaining ingredients. You can even substitute some green garlic chopped fine for the parsley.
Note: This can also be served warm over rice.