Around Christmas time – yes, I am going to mention Christmas in March – my family always eat a lot of ‘nibbles’. In other words, we avoid having to make actual meals by surviving solely on little canapés and snacks. As long as you eat enough of them (which we definitely, definitely do), they’re all you need. It’s actually one of my favourite things about that time of year. Anyway, this year (technically last year I suppose, but that feels weird to say), we had some of these little crispy chips that we couldn’t get enough of, and it turned out they were fava bean chips! So obviously I had to have a go at making my own.
I was actually pretty shocked that these turned out so well – I love beans, but they’re not exactly something I usually have just on their own. Once they’re roasted, however, they become the perfect snack – crunchy little nuggets that you can flavour with whatever you fancy. I guess they’re similar to nuts in function, but these are much nicer – they end up much crispier. Plus, since I baked them, they’re healthier than the big bag of crisps that I tend to eye up around Christmas (and every other day of the year), while still tasting amazing and totally hitting the ‘crunchy snack’ spot.
One more benefit before I must force myself to stop: they’re really cheap to make – a bag of fava beans is only a couple of quid, and will make about 4 big batches.
I used split dried fava beans from Hodmedod, a small company based in Norfolk. I love the fact that the beans are British-grown – plus they’re organic, so I can feel good about myself for multiple reasons. PLUS they support bee-friendly farming… my smugness is now off the charts.
(P.S. Hodmedod also do a tinned dahl, amongst other things, which is ridiculously tasty, and makes a great quick dinner with some rice)
Making these fava bean chips couldn’t be easier – cook your beans in some water on the hob, and then roast them with whatever flavourings you fancy. That’s literally all there is to it.
This time I went for parmesan flavour, so I just added some finely grated cheese for the last ten minutes or so of roasting (the whole batch ends up tasting like crispy cheese, it’s in-cred-ible), along with a little squeeze of lemon for added flavour. I also made smoked paprika flavoured ones (not pictured), which were equally awesome, if a bit neon orange.
I actually made three batches of these within a week. Talk about moreish.
- 130g dried split fava beans
- 2tbsp olive oil
- Black pepper
- 1tbsp vegetarian parmesan-style cheese, finely grated
- ½ tbsp lemon juice
- Boil the fava beans in plenty of water for 20-30 minutes, until tender but not mushy. Drain the beans, and toss them in the oil with plenty of salt and pepper. Spread them out on a baking sheet (in a single layer if possible), and roast at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for around 25 minutes. You must give them a stir every ten minutes or so to ensure they cook evenly.
- After 25 minutes, add the parmesan and lemon juice, and roast for a further 15 minutes or so, until golden brown and crispy. Leave to cool before serving.