Dried fava beans need to be soaked overnight to break down the nutrients of the beans. Drain the water and then peel the outer shell of the beans if they have not been removed previously. Place the beans in a sauce pan and add 3 cups of liquid for every cup of fava beans, and let simmer for one to two hours or until the beans are tender. Season the beans with salt after cooking.
Fava beans, also called broad beans, are in season from late March to early May. They are primarily found in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes but are enjoyed around the world. Many people are discouraged from cooking with fresh fava beans because of the labor-intensive harvesting process that requires peeling away the larger pod and then further shelling a husk around the beans themselves.
Although they require a lengthy overnight soak in water, dried beans are shelled before they are dried and eliminate any extra labor involved in cooking the beans. Once cooked, fava beans are excellent additions to pasta, risotto or succotash. A creative use for fava beans is to mash them with fresh herbs and Greek yogurt to be used as a dip or spread over toast.