Look for the smallest, cutest favas you can find. But even if you're stuck with the big, gnarly ones, you can eat the pods you want, and just pop out the inner beans for the ones you don't -- they'll still slide out more easily after they've been cooked. (Trust us on the anchovy.) Recipe adapted very slightly from New York Magazine —Genius Recipes
4 to 6
fresh fava beans in their pods, the younger the better
fleur de sel
ground chile pepper
3 to 4
cloves chopped garlic
extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to finish
Mix first 7 ingredients together in a large bowl. Toss to coat the fava pods, then place them on the grill over medium-high heat.
Grill favas for several minutes, until charred, then flip them over and char the other side, cooking until the pods seem about to open.
Remove pods from grill, return them to the mixing bowl, and squeeze the lemon over them. Toss the pods to coat. Check the seasoning, and add salt if necessary.
Add the anchovies to the bowl, mixing well.
Place the pods on a serving platter, drizzle to taste with olive oil, and sprinkle the bread crumbs on top, if using. Serve hot or at room temperature; eat with your hands or with forks and knives, depending on how messy you want to get.
Genius recipes surprise us and make us rethink cooking tropes. They're handed down by luminaries of the food world and become their legacy. They get us talking and change the way we cook. And, once we've folded them into our repertoires, they make us feel pretty genius too. Watch for new Genius Recipes every Wednesday morning on our blog, dug up by Food52's Senior Editor Kristen Miglore.