This is what fava beans look like in the pod. At Union Square, they go for close to $5 a pound, which is more than I pay for heirloom tomatoes, though less than I pay for cherries some of the time
Of course, you can't eat them like this: the fava beans are inside these pods...which are weird and fuzzy inside. If someone had told me a fava spider spins each individual pod full of webs and that's how they got that way, I'd believe them. It takes a bit of effort to get each bean out of each pod: the pods are tough, and don't easily split all the way down the middle. Sometimes there are only one or two beans in a pod. It's rare that it's totally full, but it happens sometimesEventually, your fingernails feel defiled with fava bean pod juice, and you have a neat pile of fava beans far smaller than the pile of fava bean pods.
Each bean is still inside of a thick, bitter skin. Apparently they're sometimes left on in meditaranian cooking, but Alice Waters says to remove them, and I always do. So now you boil water, dump the beans in, wait a few second, pull out a hot bean, cut a slit in it with a knife, and squeeze. If the bean slides out of the skin, you drain all the beans, and let them cool. If not, you try another bean in a few more seconds.
When that happens, drain them (again), and puree them with a spoon, adding really good olive oil, and a little cooking liquid if necessary to thin out the puree. Enjoy with toast.
No, really, really, enjoy them. You earned it!
Will you try fava bean puree this year, or does this sound like just too much? You'll never know until you taste it!