Fava beans are a serious pain in the neck to prepare, but they are absolutely worth it at least once a year. And since the season for them is very short, that's usually all the time I have. By the time the next year rolls around, I remember the smooth fresh silkiness far more than I remember the hassle. Sort of like pregnancy, I guess.
This meal will serve four if you add salad and couscous.
2 lb whole fava beans - look for big, fresh ones
1 handful mint
4 lamb loin chops - about 1 1/2 pounds
2 Meyer lemons
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil - preferably Greek
Salt & pepper to taste
- Shell the fava beans
- Cover the beans with cold water and set over a medium flame. Cook until the beans are fragrant and just turning from bright green to slightly yellow. Put into a colander and spray with cold water to stop cooking.
- Salt the chops lightly and let them sit for a few minutes. Broil the lamb chops on low heat for about 15 minutes on the first side, turning midway, and about 10 minutes on the second side, turning midway
- When the beans have cooled, pinch each one to remove the tough outer skin. Put the inner beans into a bowl.
- Add the zest of one of the Meyer lemons and the juice of both of them to the bowl.
- Clean and chop the mint and add it to the bowl.
- Add the olive oil and stir briskly with a wooden spoon.
- Serve the lamb chops with the fava bean/mint dressing and with couscous.