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Whole fava beans
(Faba Integra)

Whole fava beans (Faba Integra)

from Anthimus, On Foods

about text

Original recipe:

Translation: Whole broad beans when properly cooked both in stock and in oil are better with seasoning or salt than chopped beans, because the latter burden the stomach.


  • 1 lb. dry peeled fava beans
  • 2 quarts beef or vegetable stock
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for seasoning
  • Sea salt


  • To 1 lb. of dry beans add 2 quarts of of stock and olive oil and bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer the beans with the lid on for 20 minutes or until they are tender.
  • This dish likes to stand: when the beans are almost cooked, turn off the heat and leave the beans to marinate for an hour in the stock and olive oil.
  • Bring to the boil again just before serving.
  • Season with olive oil and sea salt.

On Fava Beans

  • If you can’t find peeled dried fava beans, you can use unpeeled favas (but it is not recommended, unless you are doing a living history demo and have a lot of time to peel each bean while you are talking to the crowd!)
  • Boil 2 quarts of water in a pan and stir in the beans.
  • Boil for 10 minutes, drain and rinse in cold water.
  • Peel and discard the outer skins.
  • Put the peeled beans back in the pan with enough beef broth or stock and the olive oil and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer until the beans are tender (which should only take a few minutes) and most of the stock is absorbed.
  • Season before serving, or provide olive oil and sea salt for your guests to season to taste.


  • One lb. of dried favas will make about 6 cups (48 oz) of cooked beans.
  • For a feast with several courses or multiple dishes this is enough for 12 servings, or 6 servings as a side dish for a dinner.
  • It will feed 3 really hungry soldiers as a one-pot camp meal, and is especially tasty when a small amount of the salt pork or ham ration, and and a chopped leek, are fried together in olive oil and added to the cooked beans.
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