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Fava bean obsession

 
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cathyeats



Joined: 19 Apr 2010
Posts: 17
Location: Brooklyn, NY

PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:11 pm    Post subject: Fava bean obsession Reply with quote

I am surprised there's no thread on here about fresh fava beans. After making this salad over the weekend, I can't get enough of them!

Does anyone have any other good recipes using fresh fava beans?

Corn and Fava Bean Salad with Mint

1 1/2 lbs. fresh fava beans
Kernels from 1 medium ear of corn (3/4 – 1 c.)
3 scallions, white and light green parts sliced
1 T. chopped fresh mint
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. fresh lemon juice
Pinch salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Shell the beans – you will have about a scant cup. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the beans, cook for 2-2 minutes and drain. Rinse with cold water. Slip the beans out of their skin. This is easy if you tear a bit off the end and then squeeze lightly. Bring a smaller pan of water to a boil. Add the corn kernels and blanch for 1 minute (or a bit less if you have corn with very tender, small kernels.) Place the beans and corn in a bowl with the scallions and mint. Pour on the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and a bit of pepper. You can add extra lemon or mint to taste, but be judicious – you want to mostly taste the essence of the beans and corn. Stir to combine, and serve at room temperature.
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting coincidence, Cathy. Fresh favas are almost never available around here. Two weeks ago, however, they suddenly appeared in a local market. Naturally I grabbed some.

After prepping them (they are, for those who don't know, the most labor-intensive foodstuff in the world), I used one of Gerald Hirigoyen's recipes, Fava Beans with Creme Fraiche and Mint. from his book Pintxos. Very nice.
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whoops! Forgot the recipe:

2 lbs fava beans in the pod
1/2 cup creme fraiche
2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup mint leaf chiffonade
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

Shuck the beans. Drop into boiling salted water. Cook 3 minutes. Immediately transfer to an ice water bath. Shell the beans.

In a bowl, whisk together the creme fraiche, olove oil, salt and pepper to taste. Add the fava beans, mint leaves and lemon zest and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours before serving to chill and allow the flavors to meld.

Taste and adjust the seasonigns with slat and pepper before serving. Serve chilled.
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Judy



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 1196
Location: buried under a pile of books somewhere in Adelaide, South Australia

PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gerald Hirigoyen! Now there's a name that brings back memories.

On my first trip to the US in 1995, I visited my brother and his wife in Washington State. Just before I flew out from Australia, I read about the San Francisco Farmers' Market at Fisherman's Wharf and decided to spend a weekend there while I was in the US. So I did. And Gerald Hirigoyen was the chef doing the cooking demonstration. I can't remember what he cooked, but I think at the time he was running Fringale. I met some people who lived locally and often ate there, and they were as thrilled as I was to watch him cook.
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly I've never had the pleasure of watching him work, or eating food he's prepared. But I've made quite a few of the recipes in Pintxos, and have yet to find one I didn't like.
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clotilde
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Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 443
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every year I forget how time-consuming it is to peel fresh fava beans! But once the work is done -- usually I sit and listen to a good podcast while I work -- it is really rewarding.

I cooked some last night: they were really young, so there was no need to peel the outer layer (a big time saver). I blanched them quickly and we ate them with as part of a Chinese egg noodle bowl, with garlic, shrimp, mint and chives. It was very good, and the fava beans brought a lovely sweetness to the dish.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps I don't know where to look but i can honestly say I've never seen a fresh fava bean! Do they perhaps prefer a warmer clime?
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just the opposite, David. They like it on the cooler side, just like English peas. Which is why when you do find them fresh they are primarily a springtime crop.

I suspect they aren't a common crop because North Americans aren't used to them. We go with common beans, which are, perhaps, easier to grow, have a longer growing season, and are certainly much easier to prep.

So favas here are an off-beat crop, and when they are available it's usually either as dried beans or frozen.

Favas are an Old World bean, and Europeans are more used to seeing them, both historically and now.

All of which is a shame, because they are one of the best tasting beans you can eat.
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Rachel



Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 296
Location: Santa Barbara, CA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cathy, thanks for starting this thread - and for the recipe, which I may try this weekend as everything in it is available at the farmer's market now.

A few of my favorite fava bean recipes:
-fava bean and radish salad with green tahini dressing (recipe from the Ottolenghi cookbook - here's the link to it on the Guardian website:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2007/jun/02/foodanddrink.shopping3)
-bissara (Moroccan fava bean spread/dip - very similar to hummus)
-the fava bean and mint frittata in the C&Z cookbook
-braised with onion, topped with crumbled goat cheese and run under the broiler for a couple of minutes

And - not a recipe per se, but an Italian friend recently introduced me to the Roman way of eating them: shell them, peel them and eat them raw, alternating them with the occasional bit of pecorino (preferably out of doors on a sunny day).
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks KYH, interesting stuff. I'm going to look more closely next spring in farmers' markets!
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or you can grow your own, David. You're conditions are ideal for them.

Just think of them as over-grown bush beans, but you plant them the same time as peas.

One cautionary note: They're among the ugliest plants in the world. So don't grow them where aesthetics are important.
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW, in their beautiful new book The Book of Tapas, Simone and Ines Ortega have several interesting sounding recipes using fresh favas. Included are: Fava Beans with Mint (a more complex recipe than either of the above); Fava Bean Ragout; Fried Fava Beans; and Fava Beans with Morcilla.

If anyone is interested I'll type out the recipes.
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dory



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 236
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I need to look here in Wisconsin. I haven't been seeing fava beans, except marinated at the olive bar at Whole Foods. (I think what I am finding is favas and not giant limas). We have a very good farmers market where I live (Madison) so my chances of finding these may be good.

Dory
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KYHeirloomer



Joined: 21 Aug 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Central Kentucky

PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dory,

If they're not offering them (it would have been earlier in the year if they did) perhaps you can convince one or two growers that they should be.

Talk about how popular they're becoming, and how the celebrity chefs are touting them, and how in an area as ethnically diverse as Madison there are people who crave them. Maybe even go armed with a few recipes.

Wisconsin is an ideal place to grow favas, and it can broaden their sales base.

When I was writing my column in Small Farm Today, I was continually contacted by growers thanking me for opening their eyes to other possibilities. Like everybody else, farmers often get "sot in they ways," and it sometimes takes an outsider to move them out of the rut.

The open question is how early in the year the market opens. Could be that the growing season is over by that time. We run into that problem with one of our local markets. They don't open until late May, so, as a result, nobody there sells greens or much else in the way of cool weather vegetables.
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