Ignacio Mattos’ Grilled Favas

June 19, 2012
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound fresh fava beans in their pods, the younger the better
  • 1 teaspoon fleur de sel
  • 1 teaspoon ground chile pepper
  • 1 teaspoon picked rosemary
  • 3 to 4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to finish
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 lemon
  • 7 or 8 canned anchovies in oil, chopped finely
  • 1 handful toasted bread crumbs (optional)
  1. 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.
  2. Grill favas for several minutes, until charred, then flip them over and char the other side, cooking until the pods seem about to open.
  3. 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.
  4. Add the anchovies to the bowl, mixing well.
  5. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sheila Dexter
    Sheila Dexter
  • JanieMac
  • BoulderGalinTokyo
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • hardlikearmour
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

26 Reviews

Sheila D. June 4, 2023
I have eaten fresh (cooked) fava for years - out of the pod and cannot for the life of me figure out WHY anyone would want to PEEL the beans??
The charred young pods were delicious !!!
DoctorWithAPulse February 28, 2023
I can’t think of another recipe that surprised me more with an unforeseen magical taste combination.
Dana P. May 3, 2015
What exactly is ground chile? Chili powder? Dried chiles ground?
Kristen M. May 3, 2015
I've used both red chile flakes and whole dried chiles, crushed (see slideshow) -- you just want something spicy but it's flexible!
Miles June 18, 2014
Anyone try this with edamame?
Karen T. January 4, 2014
Do you think anchovy paste would work?
Karen T. January 4, 2014
SO, if no canned anchovies but anchovy paste in the tube, think you could just add some of that instead?
JanieMac May 22, 2013
Can anybody tell me the difference between favas and broad beans? (or lima beans for that matter). I am growing broad beans but have never tried eating the pods, even the young ones...sounds a good thing to try.
thirschfeld May 22, 2013
Broad bean is a generic term that would include Lima, gigante, fava and an assortment of othe large beans usually eaten out of the shell
ehg May 15, 2013
This is my all-time favorite recipe which says a lot! When I can't use favas I sub another stand-in such as radicchio. Thank you!!!!
Chrissie64 September 16, 2012
Sorry but I'm still confused! I love the look of this recipe...but do you eat the lot or do you still have to peel the finished product? My inclination would be to eat the lot! (As a child growing up in Tasmania my mother used to slice the pod into approx 1" intervals and lightly boil so we actually ate the lot. We called them broad beans and we grew them in the garden).
ehg September 17, 2012
Go ahead and eat them whole which I think is the beauty of this recipe. Of course, using smaller pods is key to avoiding the stringiness. The anchovies are also essential for the flavor though I love the other poster's suggestion of fish sauce as a subsitute if needed. Even a couple of months later I'm crazy about this recipe and think it could be adapted to other veggies. In fact, I used the leftover marinade with radicchio and grilled it. Yummy!
BoulderGalinTokyo July 23, 2012
The favas had a really terrific flavor, and were very easy to prepare. The recipe didn't call for it, but I removed the strings like a green bean. My husband thought they were too small for favas-- I said the recipe called for 'young' favas, mine were about 2 1/2 inches long. We grilled until they were a little more cooked than the picture.

Like I said it tasted great, and it is hard to say this politely, but there was a lot of fiber--so much you need little plates for the chewed fiber (unchewable). The beans inside were small and didn't soak up sauce, so we ate the whole fava-- wondering the whole time if there are different types (softer?) of favas.
TheWimpyVegetarian July 10, 2012
Made these a few days ago and really loved them. I thought the key was definitely to get young one. The larger older ones were a little stringy, although still really good and the beans themselves were terrific either way. But the young ones that were more tender were fantastic. Easiest way I've ever seen to prepare fava beans, and one I'll use many more times.
hardlikearmour July 6, 2012
Made these the other night and they are fantastic! I microplaned the garlic so it would be well distributed, and didn't have any anchovies, so substituted a generous glug of fish sauce. My husband and I polished off an entire batch. Can't wait to get more favas to do it again.
dymnyno June 28, 2012
I am putting these on the grill tomorrow night...thanks for a great recipe!!!
TheWimpyVegetarian June 29, 2012
You're back home, Mare?? We just arrived in Tahoe today for 10 days. Can we ever be in the same area at the same time???
baltimoregon June 27, 2012
Delish! I may never peel favas again, though it is a meditative task. The anchovy flavor melds in so seamlessly, my husband couldn't even identify the key umami ingredient. The pods blistered nicely in a hot cast iron pan instead of the grill.
j_en June 24, 2012
Peeling favas is my least favorite kitchen task (besides trimming artichokes), but I'm never doing it again -- these are so outrageously good, I just demolished the entire bowl in one sitting (well, I actually didn't make it out of the kitchen). The anchovies are perfect, but I may try replacing them with capers for my vegan boyfriend. The only thing stopping me from licking the bowl was the nettle pasta sauce I had brewing -- tossed the remaining marinade right in.
petitbleu June 24, 2012
I can't believe how timely this article is. We just bought some lovely favas and were dreading the shelling process. So glad to be relieved of that duty!
Idit June 24, 2012
I wish I had this recipe last night before I spent over an hour shelling and peeling fresh favas. Cannot wait to try this recipe. Thank you.
ehg June 22, 2012
Just prepared this...amazing!!!
ehg June 22, 2012
Just prepared this...amazing!!!
ehg June 22, 2012
Just prepared this.....AMAZING!!!!