Marinated Fava Beans

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Fresh fava beans marinated with dill and caraway make for a great recipe to add to your next mezze platter or cheese board.

Fava beans, kale, peas, potatoes, and onions in a basket harversted from the garden.
A recent haul from my garden

Like peas, fava beans are one of the things I planted in the garden this year that are doing well for once. Not many, but some. I also get a lot of them during the spring from our local farm stands. I typically use them in salads or as part of a sauté, but I wanted to offer something different for a change and with this heat I’ve been eating a lot of cold vegetables for supper. (And occasionally ice cream). Add some bread and cheese and it’s a complete meal.

Top view of marinated fava beans on bread with goat cheese

It’s a lot of work, but I strongly recommend peeling your fava beans for this recipe. That greyish coat on each bean can get very tough and make the beans less enjoyable (in anything). Especially at this time of year, the beans you are likely to get are going to be the more mature ones, though I do have a second harvest coming in on my plants. But peeling is a great activity to do while watching a movie or show. It doesn’t actually take long, it just seems that way if you aren’t also paying attention to something else too.

Fava beans in bowl with ice being blanched.

How many whole beans do you need to get 2 c of shelled beans? Well, it depends. If the flowers didn’t get thoroughly pollinated there might only be 1 or 2 beans per pod. But I’ve found a good estimate is 1 ½ – 2 times the weight of the shelled beans is the quantity of whole pods you will need. If the pods are younger you will need more, but if they are really young you might not need to peel them.

Side view of marinated fava beans on bread with goat cheese

Marinated Fava Beans


  • 2 c/300g shelled fava beans
  • ½ tsp/1g dried dill
  • ½ tsp/2g caraway seed
  • ½ tsp/1g ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 ” segment of lemon peel
  • ¼ c/60ml white wine vinegar
  • ¼ c/60ml olive oil


  • Blanch fava beans for 1 minute. Place beans in a heat proof bowl and prepare another bowl with ice water. Cover beans in boiling water and allow to sit for 1 minute. Drain and immediate plunge into ice water. Allow to sit until room temperature.
  • Peel beans by pinching the smooth end (or slice slightlto create a hole in the skin. Pinch the opposite end and push the halves of the bean out.
  • Combine all spices with vinegar and olive oil and add peeled beans. Cover and allow to sit in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Agitate occasionally to keep the vinegar and oil distributed evenly.
  • Serve with crusty bread or other starch to soak up the sauce.

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