Thursday, May 7, 2009

It really is spring: The beans are out

It's true: The skis have been put away, and I'm tired of roasted root vegetables. Good thing the fava beans showed up at my produce market this week!

I know they're time consuming to prepare, but I like all the steps. They really bring home what the slow food movement is all about.

Shell, blanch.

Cool in an ice water bath.Peel. If you pinch off one end of the skin and squeeze, the bright beautiful bean pops right out. The tiny beans can be eaten skin and all.

One of my favorite spring appetizers is this fava bean crostini. I toss the prepared fava beans with spring leeks that have been sauteed in a little butter (I don't put the favas in the saute—the blanching cooks them enough and this keeps them greener). I place a slice of soft goat brie on a baguette baguette slice and top with this mixture and a sprinkle of salt.

One of the kids at Sophie's school, quickly coming up on the sullen teen years, recalls one of his best early school memories as laying on his back in the school garden with a friend and feasting on fresh raw favas. Sophie has planted some in her backyard garden, and when they're ready, we might have to give this try. 

In the meantime, it's shell, blanch, cool, peel. 


tommie said...

Those crostini look amazing! I might have to have a dinner party just so I can serve them.

But I also have to note...I can't think of fava beans without thinking of Silence of the Lambs...never fails. I see Anthony Hopkins every time.

Angelina said...

I love preparing fava beans. I'm jealous that you already have them. We won't get any here for at least another month!