A large green snap or vine bean measuring an inch or more in length with an inner bean shaped like a kidney bean or oversized lima bean. Fava beans can be purchased fresh or dried. As a fresh bean, they can be added to salads, vegetable dishes, pasta, soups, and a variety of main dishes. If the dried beans are desired, it is best to use beans that have been split so that the very tough skin is easier to remove and the cooking time will be faster. As with any dried bean, soaking is required to rehydrate the beans before they are cooked.