Fava Beans and Asparagus with Polenta
Fava Beans and Asparagus with Polenta

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This Recipe

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Serves: 4
  • Start to Finish: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Amount per serving:
Total Calories: 368
  • 751mg Sodium
  • 54g Carbs
  • 27g Fiber
  • 9.5g Fat
  • 5g Saturated Fat
  • 17g Protein
  • 175mg Calcium
  • 6mg Iron

Also known as broad beans, fava beans are an inexpensive source of vegetarian and vegan protein (13 grams per cooked cup) plus a healthy dose of fiber (9 grams). Their nutty, sweet taste goes great atop creamy polenta for a comforting spring meal.

Appropriate for: Gluten-free, high-fiber, low-sugar, vegetarian diets


  • 1 cup polenta
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 pound (about 1 cup shelled) fava beans in pods
  • 1 bunch (about 1 pound) asparagus, top halves trimmed into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, minced



1. Combine polenta, water, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, then turn heat to low. Simmer polenta, uncovered, stirring occasionally, anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes until thick (cooking time varies by grind). Add more water and cook longer if needed to achieve a creamy, tender consistency.
2. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter, Parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside.
3. Bring a medium pot of water to boil. While water heats, remove fava beans from pods. Add beans to boiling water and cook 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in a small bowl. With water still boiling, add asparagus and cook for 1 minute. Drain and quickly rinse with cold water. Set aside.
4. Cut a small opening in waxy coating of each fava bean, then pinch bean to remove coating. Discard coatings.
5. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant and softened. Add fava beans and asparagus and stir. Add salt to taste and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until heated through. Serve favas and asparagus over warm polenta. Top with additional pepper and Parmesan cheese to taste.

Recipe provided by Stephanie of Freshtart.com

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