Spring is the perfect time to sub in abundant, seasonal fava beans for all your legume needs. Like chickpeas, fava beans make a delicious purée, and, when dried and reconstituted, an equally delicious falafel. Because they’re similar in texture, fava beans and chickpeas can usually be substituted for each other. A blend of dried favas and seasonings will hold together as a fried ball better than fresh fava beans, but keep in mind they need to soak and rehydrate for a full 24 hours.
Serve these as an appetizer or hors d’oeuvre — they make awesome party food — or go the whole nine yards and cram them in a a nice warm pita with the works for a great vegetarian sandwich.
- 1/2 pound dried fava beans
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
- juice of half a lemon
- salt to taste
- Soak the dried fava beans in abundant water for 24 hours.
- Drain well and put through a blender with the baking soda, chopped onion, cumin, hot pepper, parsley and lemon juice until it has the consistency of a coarse paste (not entirely smooth).
- Let the mix sit for half an hour, then add salt to taste.
- Form small, golf ball-sized balls out of the fava bean mixture and fry them in abundant oil for about five minutes each.
- Drain on paper towels and serve hot.