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Posts Tagged ‘fava beans’

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If you’ve followed this blog through a summer or two, you know how much we like fresh fava beans.  I picked up a batch at the farmers market this other day, peeled them, and seasoned them with a little extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest, and salt and pepper.  Since the grill was already flaming, I put the mix in a cast iron skillet on the grill – it took just a few minutes to soften them a bit and allow the olive oil and lemon to add a little zest.  We piled them on a cracker with a thin slice of ricotta salata to enjoy with a pre-dinner glass of wine.  Easy, breezy and delicious.

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A week or so ago, our son, Mickey, came into the city for a Diana Krall concert and although we had planned to go out to dinner, much to my delight he decided to cook.  What a joy!  Off we went to the market and when we got back laden with shopping bags, Steve got the camera and I got my knife to be his sous chef.  After dinner, when Mick and Steve went off to the concert, I did the dishes and thought how lucky can any one mother be.

Here’s what he made – this is Mickey’s idea of an easy Friday night dinner celebrating spring.

Seared Scallops on Pea Puree with Spring Vegetables:  Fresh peas steamed and pureed with a little broth and salt and pepper.  Fresh fava beans, snap peas, and garden peas lightly sautéed in a bit of chicken broth and butter.  Scallops seared for a couple of minutes to caramelize nicely and still be almost raw in the center.  The puree was spooned into the center of each of our plates, the sautéed veggies scattered about and 3 scallops nestled in the center.  It was light and delicious.

Roasted Chicken Breast with Mushroom Sauce, grilled purple asparagus, and basmati rice:  Whole chicken breasts were roasted with the skin on until just barely cooked; then, deboned and skinned.  A lovely sauce of mushrooms, marsala wine, herbs, and stock was made and the chicken breast halves added for just a couple of minutes to warm and season.  The asparagus was grilled.  The rice cooked and dinner was served.  I felt as though I had eaten in a starred restaurant with none of the associated hype.

 

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Mickeys dinner

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Do I Love Fava Beans!

Along with ramps, fava beans are one of my favorite signs of spring.  We love

them raw with shavings of a big block of Parmesan or ricotta salata cheese and a lovely crisp white wine.  However, they are a pain to prepare – even raw, you have to carefully try to pull off the outer skin once you’ve shelled them.  It does keep you occupied and makes your consumption of wine slow down.  Otherwise, you have to blanch the raw beans for a few seconds to loosen the outer skin and then peel it off before using them in cooked dishes.  If you’ve never cooked with them, don’t let spring go by without trying fresh favas.  They really are worth the work – you’ll be rewarded with a slightly sweet, slightly acidic, bright green taste that will lively-up almost any dish.

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