Fava Beans with Caramelized Onions and Bacon

  • Blanching the shelled fava beans (after being removed from the big green pod) makes it much easier to peel the thin membrane that surrounds each bean. If you want to make this a vegetarian dish, caramelize the onions in 2 tablespoons each butter and olive oil.

  • 3 cups peeled shelled fresh fava beans (2 1/2 pounds in pod)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as pinot grigio
Salt and pepper

Heat a pot of lightly salted water to boiling; add the olive oil, then the fava beans. Return to a boil and cook just until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large cast-iron skillet, cook the bacon just until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove it from the pan, leaving the fat in the pan. Scatter the onion slices in the pan. Saute over medium-high heat until lightly golden and translucent. Push them into an even layer and reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue cooking the onions until they are softened slightly, but do not let them burn. Pour in the wine and stir the onions until the liquid evaporates. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The onions should now be light brown and very wilted (if they are not, continue cooking them until they are—it won't take long). Add the fava beans to the pan and toss until heated through and mixed with the onions. Toss in the bacon and serve right away.

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