The fava bean, also known as the broad bean, is a large, green leguminous vegetable believed to have a long history of cultivation in Old World agriculture. Because fava beans are good at fixing nitrogen in the soil, farmers often use them as a cover crop (a crop planted to replenish soil nutrients, increase fertility, and manage pests and weeds) to rotate in between plantings of other crops, particularly during the winter.
Fava beans are available both fresh and dried. When buying fresh, seek out young, tender fava beans with bright green pods in the springtime. The beans must first be shucked to remove their thick pods, then blanched to peel the tough skins surrounding each individual bean. Favas bring a rich texture and flavor to dips, salads, and soups.
In Season at the Market
March, April, May, June, July
Product descriptions are generously shared and created by CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) in San Francisco. CUESA is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Visit CUESA at www.cuesa.org.