I have been thinking about Holiday pasts when we were traveling in the Middle East and we bought some delicious cooked marinated fava beans from a street vendor who dished out large cups into paper cones made from newspapers. Maybe it was just lemon juice, a dust of salt and cumin, but I often think of that day and what could have made them so great. Well, fava beans are very flavorful. I do not make them often enough, but I did prepare them for the Holidays. I am combining them with a recipe for Za’atar Spice Blend from Heidi Swanson’s 101cookbooks website. I have been wanting to make this spice mix using the sumac I harvested and dried this year! I also made some changes to use oregano I dried from my garden.
For the Fava Beans: Rinse and soak the dried beans on plenty of water overnight. In the morning, rinse and add water to cover the beans and cook on low on crock pot for 6-7 hours. (Or stove top from 1 to 2 hours, checking until they are done). I removed the skins using a paring knife. For the Marinated Fava Beans add 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans, 1/4 cup Za’atar Spice blend, half dozen olives, chopped scallions and extra virgin olive oil.
To make Za’atar Spice Blend you will need: 2 tbsp thyme, 2 tbsp oregano, 1-2 tbsp sumac, 2 tbsp sesame seeds, 1/2 tsp salt
Grind sumac berries that have been removed from the cones and are dried.
Grind until you see the sumac powder releasing from the seeds
Strain the sumac through a fine sieve, keep the powder and discard the seeds
Roast sesame seeds until light golden on stove top on low
Using a mortar and pestle grind salt, sumac, thyme and oregano together and stir in toasted sesame seeds
Store the leftover spice blend on a covered jar.
Marinate Fava Beans in a covered glass jar in the fridge for at least 8 hours. Enjoy at room temperature.