Fava Beans

By Melissa Petitto   |   May 21, 2024

Fava beans are one of my favorite things to find in the farmers market and Ebby’s Organics has some absolutely gorgeous ones right now! They are a little time consuming but are truly worth the effort. Fava beans, also known as broad beans, are a legume. They are a rich source of plant protein, folate, and filled with soluble fiber that is wonderful for lowering cholesterol and aiding in digestive health. Fava beans are loaded with levodopa, which is a compound that our bodies convert into the neurotransmitter dopamine. Some promising studies have shown that patients with Parkinson’s disease respond well and have improved symptoms when eating fava beans daily. Fava beans are also a great source of folate, a nutrient that has been shown to prevent birth defects in infants. These legumes are wonderful at boosting our immune systems with their antioxidant composition. Broad beans have also been shown to decrease high blood pressure because they are rich in magnesium and potassium which helps relax blood vessels. Other amazing attributes of the fava bean are that they may aid in weight loss, the plant protein may help increase blood iron levels and improve anemia and may promote bone health. Let’s go make something delicious with these incredible legumes. 

Fresh Fava Bean, Herb, and Meyer Lemon Panzanella 

The sweet (and nutty) legume that is fava (photo by Richard W.M. Jones via Wikimedia Commons)

Yield: 6 Servings

2 pounds whole fresh fava beans in their pods 
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 
½ cup kalamata olives 
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest 
2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice 
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
½ cup fresh parsley leaves 
½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn 
¼ cup chervil or dill fronds 


4 thick slices sourdough bread (I love Oat Bakery’s sesame charcoal sourdough!)

2 tablespoons olive oil 

½ teaspoon sea salt 

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. 

2. Cut the bread into ½ inch cubes and combine them in a large bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and to the preheated oven. 

3. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden and crispy. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. 

4. To shell the fava beans, snap the pods and collect all of the fava beans in a bowl. 

5. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add in the shelled fava beans and allow to boil for 1 minute. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water until cool enough to handle. Pop the membrane of each fava bean and squeeze out the bean. Repeat with all fava beans. 

6. In a large bowl, combine the shelled fava beans, cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, Meyer lemon zest and juice, olive oil, parsley, basil, and chervil and toss to coat. 

7. Add in the croutons, toss again and serve.  


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