Fava Beans With Red Onion and Bacon



  • 3 pounds fresh young fava beans
  • 3 bacon slices
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium-size red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, divided
  • Water, to cook beans
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Shell the fava beans by removing them from the pod. If the beans are young, they might not need to be skinned after shelling (the skin feels spongy); if they are older and larger, the outer skin should be removed, as they make the beans tougher. Place shelled beans in a medium-size saucepan.
  2. In a medium-size skillet, cook the bacon on medium heat until crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels and cool. Crumble the bacon into tiny pieces and reserve.
  3. In a medium-size skillet, heat the oil on medium heat and saute the onion slowly for about 10 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of the vinegar and continue cooking until the onions are light brown and just begin to caramelize. Reserve in the pan.
  4. Cover the beans with water by 1/2 inch, and bring them to a simmer on medium heat for a few minutes or until tender, anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes, depending upon how large they are.
  5. When the beans are cooked, add them to the pan with the onions. Add the bacon, reserved vinegar, parsley, salt and pepper, and cook on medium heat, mixing to combine. Taste for seasoning. Spoon into a bowl and serve immediately.

Advance Preparation

The fava beans might be shelled for 8 hours ahead, and the dish might be prepared through step 3 as long as 4 hours ahead and kept at room temperature.

Serves 4 to 6 people.

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