Prepare this dish in the early days of fava season, using only very fresh—preferably just-picked—young favas.
- 1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1⁄3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 1⁄2 lb. small to medium unshelled favas, rinsed well, trimmed, and strings removed
- 15 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp. freshly grated pecorino
Put oil and lemon zest and juice into a large wide heavy nonreactive pot with a tight-fitting lid and heat over medium heat until just warm. Add favas, garlic, and 1⁄2 cup water, season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir to coat pods. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover pot.
Braise favas, stirring every 15 minutes or so and adding 1⁄2 cup water at a time, if necessary, to prevent favas from sticking to bottom of pot, until pods are completely tender, 1–1 1⁄2 hours. Uncover pot and gently stir frequently about 5 minutes before favas have finished cooking to allow pot juices to thicken enough to coat favas well.
Transfer favas, garlic, and juices to a wide shallow dish, let cool, then cover and refrigerate until well chilled, 8–12 hours. Toss with additional lemon juice, if you like, and sprinkle with freshly grated pecorino just before serving. Serve well chilled.