Sunday, July 13, 2014

Stewed Fava Beans

I'm tired of peeling.
Though Spaniards and Italians I know don't, here in the states we are told to not just shuck our fava beans from their spongy green pods but to peel each individual bean as well. Early in the season when I am excited to once again taste their deep earthy flavor, I dutifully peel and feature the bright green beans in salads, crostini and pastas. By the end of the season (or past it when I usually get around to picking our last fava beans) I am well over that hand numbing task and am facing -- as I was today -- two full jars of bigger than eat raw or lightly cooked size beans. Despite the brigade of American food writers who would tell me I'm wrong I decided to go European. Bolstered on by Nancy Harmon Jenkins' website (the one American voice I could find against peeling) I stewed our favas in a pot with onions, bacon (because I didn't have pancetta), garlic, chili flakes, tomatoes, olive oil and chicken stock. A Roman style recipe long cooked for my larger nearly dried beans. In the end after simmering on the stove and then retreating to the crock pot for an over night slow cook we had tender, flavorful, meaty beans and a thick cooked tomato sauce, just right with brown rice, feta and a sprinkling of dill -- kind of a Mediterranean flavored flu medamas. And, we didn't notice the skins at all.

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