Fresh, tender fava beans are a sure sign of spring. Within a fava pod, each bean is encased in a tough skin that gets more and more bitter as the bean matures, so you'll want to skin each bean before you cook them. In this video, I'll show you an easy way to get those skins off the beans.
First, bring a pot of water to a boil before you start opening the pods.
Break open the bean pods. Sometimes you can slide your finger along one side, opening the seam as you would a zipper, but other times you just have to break the pod apart in pieces.
Once the water is boiling, blanch the favas in boiling water for one minute, then scoop them out and plunge them into a bowl of ice water. This will loosen the skins so they're easier to remove.
Favas have one wider, slightly flattened end with a scar where it was attached to the shell. Grasp the fava between your fingers with the scar facing up, and with the thumbnail of your other hand, tear into the scar end and peel back. Pinch gently and the fava will slide right out.