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fava bean recipe

Will it ever feel like Spring again? This cold weather has me still eating all the winter root vegetables.

However, it is technically spring, which means there are some fresh new foods growing and ready to start eating! Some of these vegetables are less common and harder to find in the grocery store, but you will likely find local farmers growing them. It’s time to begin spring cleaning, starting with cleaning up your diet!

What’s in season in Massachusetts at this time of year? Here’s a short list:

  • Mint
  • Morels
  • Mushrooms
  • Nettles
  • Asparagus
  • Dandelion greens
  • Fava beans
  • Fennel
  • Kale
  • Lemons
  • Rhubarb

I have no idea how to use morels or nettles, so if you have any ideas, let me know! I’m going to focus today’s blog on a spring recipe that involves the nutrient-dense veggie: fava beans!

Spring Fava Bean & Mint Pesto Recipe adapted from Saveur


  • 2 lb. fresh fava beans in their pods
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. Marcona almonds, roughly chopped
  • 2 anchovy fillets in oil, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 6 tbsp. Agrumato lemon oil
  • 1⁄4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1⁄4 cup loosely packed mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 2 Tbsp. juice


  1. Shuck the fava beans from their pods and then peel off and discard their shells. You should have about 2 cups cleaned fava beans.
  2. In a medium saucepan of boiling, salted water, cook the fava beans until bright green, 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water and let sit until chilled, 1 minute. Drain and roughly chop the fava beans.
  3. In a mortar, pound the almonds, anchovies, and garlic until evenly combined, then add 2 tablespoons of the lemon oil to loosen the mixture.
  4. Add the reserved fava beans and mash into a coarse purée. Stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons lemon oil, the parmesan, mint, and lemon zest and juice.
  5. Season with salt and serve.

If you’re serving this at your spring gathering, let me know! This pesto looks too good to pass up!

Blog post written by Trainer, Sarah Oliver

VIM is now offering nutrition services with Trainer & Nutrition Coach, Christine Galvin!

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