Friday, April 29, 2011

Fava Bean Puree

What a delight to find that great harbinger of spring - fresh fava beans - in our CSA box today! I could hardly contain my excitement, as it's been nearly a year since I enjoyed the wonderful recipe I'm sharing with you today.

Fresh fava beans require a little prep work, but they're well worth the effort. Your time and energy will be rewarded with a delicious and beautiful puree that you can serve as a dip, spread on crostini or crackers, or thin slightly (with stock) and use as a sauce for grilled shrimp, scallops, or tofu.

Fava Bean Puree

2 C shelled fava beans
1-2 cloves minced garlic
4-6 T olive oil
1/2 C water
1/2 - 1 t salt, or to taste
1/4 t pepper, or to taste

1. Remove the fava beans from their pods. Compost the pods. Measure out about 2 C shelled favas (removed from their pods).

2. Prepare an ice water bath by filling a large bowl half way with ice and covering the ice with cold water. Set aside.

3. Fill a stock pot with water about 2/3 full. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Add the shelled fava beans and cook (blanch) for about 2-3 minutes. Drain the beans, discarding the water, and immediately add the drained beans to the ice water bath, which will loosen their tough outer shell and lock in a beautiful bright green color.

4. When the beans have cooled, drain off the water, and slip the beans out of their tough outer shell. Compost the outer shells.

5. Heat 4 T of olive oil in a large skillet with a cover. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant and very slightly golden, about 1 minute (do not burn the garlic).

6. Add the blanched fava beans. Stir to coat with the oil. Add 1/2 t salt. Stir again.

7. Add the water and cook over medium heat, partially covered, until the water is evaporated, about 10 minutes, and the beans are just tender. If necessary, add more water so the favas do not burn (or turn down the heat). Add a little more olive oil if desired.

8. Cool to room temperature. Then puree in a food processor (or with an immersion blender) until pureed. Season with more salt, if desired and 1/4 t pepper, or to taste.

Freshly grated lemon zest or freshly grated parmesan cheese are nice flavor additions to this puree, but it's delicious just the way it is.

Here's what was in today's box:

From Underwood Family Farms: tatsoi, Japanese turnips, artichokes, iceberg lettuce, Texas sweet onions, purple carrots, and Easter radishes.

From Sage Mountain Farm: Bloomsdale heirloom spinach, Chioggia beets, Red Fire lettuce, purple scallions, baby purple carrots, Tuscan kale, broccolini, and cilantro.

Rancho Santa Cecilia provided Golden Nugget mandarins.

We had anabolic favas from the Metabolic Studio.

And Silver Lake Farms provided radish and mustard microgreens.



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