Fava Beans with Spinach, Lemon and Parmesan

Serve these beans on toasted baguette, tossed with pasta for a main course, or folded into cooked rice for a tasty side dish.  A vegetable peeler works well to shave the Parmesan.

(Serves 4)


  • Olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • One pinch red pepper flakes
  • ½ bunch spinach, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 2-3 cups prepared fava beans (or half favas and half frozen peas)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of one half lemon
  • Parmesan cheese (in wedge form)


  1. Shell fava beans and briefly boil or steam the beans to loosen the outer, light-green skins.  Remove the skins by making a small cut in the skin of each bean, and squeezing the inner, bright-green bean out through the tear.  See accompanying article for details.  Discard skins and pods.
  2. Warm a bit of olive oil in a skillet.  Add garlic and red pepper and cook for 15 seconds.  Add spinach and cook for 30 seconds, then add beans (and peas).  Cook for 1 minute.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in zest and lemon juice.  Serve with shavings of Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

Fava Beans on Toast

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