Sunday, January 26, 2014

Western Beans, Part II

Today for lunch I made another batch of lightly boiled fava beans.  This time, I added smoked bacon, a gift from some vegetarian friends, and green onions to the batch, and covered them with about an inch of water.

I did not succeed in gently heating them in the water for hours, as Bach suggested in "Carolingian Foodways", but I turned them down to a simmer and simmered them for about 10 minutes.  Then I stirred in some English mustard and some salt, and heated them in a bit more water before draining and serving them.

Fresh out of the pot, they were pretty bland, but my husband and I made some post-cooking additions that made them quite tasty, namely:
  • More salt.
  • Butter (Bach expressly suggests doing this, if the bacon used is not very fatty).
  • A little garlic powder.
My husband suggested that the next batch should be simmered longer (true enough, but it was getting late for lunch, and we were both hungry) and that a lot more onions should be added.  He also suggested adding dill, which I have mixed feelings about.  (Dill is certainly a period addition, but I don't like the flavor of it very much.)   I also think adding fresh garlic would be useful, and will do so next time.  Perhaps that's getting a bit fancy for what was very basic food in period, but onions and garlic were certainly available, and people do tend to use what resources they have to improve their food.  


  1. Were these fresh or dried favas?

    Fresh fava beans are far and away one of my favorite foods on the planet. I'm coming up with all sorts of schemes to increase how much of my yard I can cover in favas this year!

    This sounds wonderful -- now I'm hungry... :)

  2. Whoops, read down a bit and found out more about the beans. Ignore that.

    Well, except for the YUM YUM YUM sentiment!

    1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by, Eulalia!

      I wouldn't mind having a reliable supply of fresh favas! Or even dried. I'm enjoying my experiments with beans and bacon, and I would love to make ful medames a regular lunch.