Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Fava Beans with Jamón

Fava beans and jamon serrano

This recipe for creamy fava beans is a springtime favorite on the Iberian peninsula—enjoy it with a glass of fino sherry or a vinho verde from Portugal. In a pinch, you can substitute prosciutto or even bacon for the jamón, Spain’s famed dry-cured ham.


  • 3 ounces thinly sliced Jamón Serrano
  • 2  pounds fresh fava beans, weighed unshelled
  • 3  tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 small onion, diced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock, or more as needed 
  • Crusty bread, for serving 


Step 1

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil and place an oven-safe wire rack on top of it. Arrange the slices of jamón on the rack in a single layer. Bake the jamón just until crisp, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. 

Step 2

Shell the fava beans. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add the shelled beans. Cook for 2 minutes, then drain and transfer to an ice water bath. Remove the outer skin from each bean. Set aside. 

Step 4

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook until both are translucent but not browned. Add the fava beans and the wine and cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the stock, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer for another 10 minutes, or until the fava beans are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated (add more stock if they need more cooking time). Transfer the fava beans to a shallow earthenware dish, such as a cazuela. Crumble the crisped jamón over the beans. Serve with crusty bread.

Yields 4 appetizer servings