Friday, April 22, 2011

More Fabulous Favas

I love fava beans. I love their silly black and white flowers. I love the way the stalks bend in the wind. I love their delicate flavor -- bean and spring and flower all at once.
I love them so much I force myself to go through the tedious double peeling (one thing about them I decidedly do not love) to serve James this short-seasoned taste of the season.
It was already getting late when I started dinner so I was looking for something easy that would still showcase my homegrown delicacy. I decided on a sauté, Roman style (the Romans are fava lovers too). Dinner started with some thinly sliced onions in olive oil over medium heat. After a few minutes I tossed in good sized handful of chopped prosciutto (I wish I'd had some pancetta) and let that crisp up just a bit. In went the shucked and peeled beans about 1/3 cup of water, s&P, and a tiny pinch of crushed red chiles. I covered the pan and let the skillet simmer very slowly for about ten minutes until the beans were tender.
To serve I layered the beans over some "grilled" bread (oven-toasted with a drizzle of olive oil and rubbed with a garlic clove while still hot from the oven) and topped them with an egg slowly fried in olive oil and thin slices of a tangy sheep's milk cheese. It wasn't the more traditional pecorino but our Basque cheese offered the flavors of the countryside just the same.
"This is better than pizza," I heard James mumble as he got up for seconds.

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