There's a lot to like about spring in northern California—the almost electric green hills, the smell of flowers wafting through my neighborhood, the gentle warm days and cool night (good sleeping weather, they say), longer evenings with enough light for a run in the hills after work—but my favorite harbinger of the season is the arrival at my local produce market of the fava bean.
I love later in the summer when they drop to 39 cents a pound, but at 79 cents, a pound of the tender spring beans is well worth the price—smaller and more shelling work but tender enough that the smallest can be eaten with the skin on.
Favas made appearances at my dinner table twice this week.
This was an salad of orzo, favas, lightly sauteed yellow squash, tomatoes (the romanitos aren't bad for an early tomato), fresh mozzarella, olive oil, and fresh Meyer lemon juice.
Later in the week was fresh corn (a little too early—I'll wait a few weeks to buy more) sauteed in browned butter, with favas, chives, and toasted pine nuts.
The first strawberries are in, and the small organic ones are good (the ginormous overwatered ones horrible). We have very good inexpensive avocados. Still waiting for the stone fruits, good corn, and heirloom tomatoes. But that's another season.