Broad beans, also known as fava beans, only require about 30 seconds to 1 minute in boiling water and a quick plunge into ice water to free the beans from their outer skin. The beans can then be eaten raw, or cooked with various recipes.
Broad beans have an outer skin surrounding the beans, and they grow in a pod, so both shells should be removed before consumption. To remove the beans from the pod, simply run a finger or small knife along the seam of the pod and remove the four to five beans.
Once a large batch of beans is collected, bring a pot of water to a boil and toss in all of the beans. Allow the beans to cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, and then drain the beans from the boiling water and place in a large bowl of ice water. This stops the beans from cooking and softens the outer skin. Remove the beans from the ice water and squeeze between the thumb and a finger to pop the beans out of the skin.
At this point, the beans can be eaten raw, either as is or with seasonings, or served in a variety of recipes, such as sauteed with olive oil, and served with pasta and cheese, or pureed into a dip and served with crackers.