It's Spring, still, and the interwebs are conspiring to brainwash us into tackling the high maintenance fava bean. The onslaught of fava bean indoctrination was too strong, my powers against it too weak; last weekend I bought fava beans.
The two schools of fava bean thought, according to LA Times, are the single peel or the double peel. My fava bean vendor at the Atwater farmer's market scoffed at the double peel. While leaving the second skin did make for a slightly more bitter bean, she allowed, it was not enough to matter.
Dandelion greens are bitter, endive, escarole and rapini are bitter,why can't fava beans be slightly bitter.
Per LA Times, I poured boiling water over the beans and when they were cool enough tried one as-was, then another after peeling off the second skin.
Okay, if you are super lazy and also craving fresh fava beans, you can leave the skin on and you won't suffer.
BUT I concede, peeling off the second layer did indeed produce a lovelier bean. That's right, I said L O V E L Y. It's a nice bean. It is the taste of Spring. I stirred these into melted butter and garlic with a touch of salt and they are...lovely.
Labor is not the reason to avoid this bean. Price might be, they ran $3/lb, and this was about a pound's worth. If you are on a budget get these once in a while as an accent flavor or color. But get them at least once every Spring, just because.
If you like wine with your fava beans, maybe a chablis or a nice pinot gris. If you like to eat liver with your fava beans, this site pairs liver with Chardonnay, and this one pairs foie gras with Sauterne. But humans taste like pork.
Dr. Vino posted this one about the blind taste test where most tasters couldn't tell the difference between the taste of (Newman's Own) dog food and various liver pates, including pork. He concluded both would be served well with a Sauternes or a Gewurztraminer.
Sorry, folks, no Chianti.
But here's a movie fun-fact for you: The iconic line was a tell: were he on his meds, Dr. Lechter would not have been allowed to eat the three items he states. MAOI's, taken to treat depression among other things, disallow foods high in tyramine. It's WAY better to be depressed than to have to not eat these foods, liver notwithstanding. The prevailing thought is Dr. Lechter was telling Agent Sterling he was off his meds. OR: was he on his meds and eating those things made him crazy? I sniff a twinkie defense!