Fava beans are in season! While available dried or canned year-round, it’s a treat to find them fresh in long, thick pods. With a sweet and nutty taste similar to edamame (soy beans), favas work great in soups, with fish or lamb, and also with eggs.
That is why I thought fava beans would be a good addition to egg salad, a traditional side dish ideal for summer picnics. And what better time to make this special egg salad than for the 4th of July?
Fava bean egg salad has very few ingredients with one noticeable absence: mayonnaise. I decided it wasn’t necessary and a little olive oil would work just as well as a binder and be a bit healthier. I did use garlic chives, an herb that tastes just like it sounds: like garlic and chives. But you could easily substitute regular chives if that’s all that is available.
Try looking for fava beans at your local farmer’s market. I buy mine from Nichols Farm’s booth at Chicago’s Green City Market. Garlic chives are also usually available at farmer’s markets and Asian grocery stores.
Did you know that fava beans are also called “broad beans” and “horse beans?”
Fava Bean Egg Salad
1 pound fresh fava beans (will be about 6 ounces shelled)
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon minced garlic chives
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Shell the fava beans by removing the thick outer shell. Bring a pot of salted water to boil and prepare an ice bath (combine cold water and ice in a bowl). Add the beans to the boiling water and cook for 90 seconds, then remove and submerge in the ice bath. Drain once chilled.
Using your fingers, gently squeeze the fava beans so they break out of the white soft shell (the fava beans are bright green). Discard the casings and roughly chop the fava beans into small pieces. Set in a clean bowl.
Hardboil the eggs by placing them in a small pot. Cover the eggs with water, a pinch of salt and drizzle of vinegar and set the pot over high heat. Once the water reaches a boil, turn off the heat and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and let sit for 14 minutes. Drain the eggs and cool under cold, running water, then peel and discard the shells. Roughly chop the eggs and place in the bowl with the chopped fava beans.
Mix in the garlic chives, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir well and serve.