If I had know how delicious fava bean leaves were I would have had a garden full by now! In the spring I harvested fava bean leaves from my full grown pod producing fava bean plants, they were okay, but just okay, a bit tough and somewhat chalky, only marginally worth eating over composting. That was my first experience with fava leaves, not that memorable and I had no plans to repeat it, but I did, and boy am I glad I did. Today I was looking for something green and leafy to sauté up for lunch I whipped out to the garden and happened upon a misplaced fava patch (my 4 year old was helping plant the cover crops!) The misplaced favas no more that 2” tall, were struggling to grow out from under my big rosemary and brick path. I snipped the baby fava plants off at ground level, and cooked them stems and all, then to my total surprise they were really good! Not at all like what I had in the spring.
Young fava plants are very comparable to spinach, when cooked the soft leaves wilt away to almost nothing, the stems are tender, and the flavor is most like a combination of peas and spinach. Fall planted fava beans are so easy to grow, I don’t use any fertilizer just toss in the ground and wait for the lovely dark green rosettes to pop up, Hopefully there is time for one more sowing and one more yummy harvest harvest of baby fava plants before winter shows up.