Thursday, May 30, 2013

Favas Two Ways

 Every year when I harvest the last of my fava beans I try to come up with a recipe special enough for the months of waiting for those beautiful green beans.
This year I dragged my feet a bit with the final harvest and James was sweet enough to help not just cutting down the stalks and pods but shelling the beans too. Along with blind baking pie crusts and hand whipping egg whites shelling fava beans is on my list of most hated kitchen chores. Other girls may want jewels or flowers delivered, but to me help shelling fava beans is as sure sign of love as there is.
I used half of those precious beans for a fava featured dinner.
First I made a vaguely minty fava purée served on toasted rounds of homemade baguettes. Simple and delicious. I sautéed the peeled favas in about 1/4 cup of olive oil along with a couple cloves of garlic until the beans were tender, about 5-7 minutes. I poured the cooked favas into the food processor along with a small handful of mint leaves, about 2 TB of parsley and another good glug of olive oil. That smooth purée on spread toasts was topped with a sliver of tangy pecorino cheese and a drizzle of fruity olive oil.
I worried a little bit that my favas were past their prime and decided that maybe a stewed preparation was a safe bet for my beloved beans. Ful medamas is a fava bean stew eaten across the Middle East that is a particular breakfast favorite in Egypt. Usually made with dried (or canned) beans I decided to make a quick version of the classic by stewing my fresh favas, water, chopped parsley, chili flakes, cumin, S&P and a healthy amount of olive oil. The liquid cooked down and the beans were soft and savory. Traditionally ful is served with hard boiled eggs. For my modern version I dusted olive oil fried eggs with a generous coating of za'atar, a Middle Eastern seasoning mixture of sumac, sesame seeds, dried herbs and spices. I had no reason to worry.
Italy and Eqypt -- favas around the world in one dinner in our little valley.

No comments:

Post a Comment