Monday, May 23, 2011

Fava Bean Magic!

My friends Clare and Ingrid visited me from Colorado last week.  We had so much fun!!

One of the first things we did in LA was walk to the (rather endangered?!) Hollywood Farmers Market.  There we got many edible things, including fava beans, zucchini, broccoli, mint, and strawberries (which are ridiculously good and cheap all of a sudden here!).  None of us had ever made fresh fava beans, though I'd had this lukewarm experience with dried favas in the fava bean and mint salad with green beans (aka mojito beans).  This time around, we separated out the favas and the mojitos, to great effect, I think.

Like in green curry noodle soup, everything is green in this meal!!  We made a pasta sauce out of the favas, then added sauteed zucchini to it.  We had a side of steamed broccoli, and Clare whipped up the fresh mint into the best mojitos I've ever had.

Fresh favas have a slightly funky taste to them, almost like cheese.  We found recipes for sauces that called for nutritional yeast, but I'm glad we didn't add any--this sauce was so simple and absolutely perfect.

To prepare the favas, you pretty much have to treat them like almonds in need of blanching--you steam/blanch them, and then, while their guard is down, you squeeze them out of their second skins.

Fava Bean Sauce
Whole Wheat Rotelle in Fava Bean Sauce with Sauteed Zucchini

Magic Fava Bean Pasta Sauce

3 servings pasta
3 c fava beans, shelled
1 tsp miso paste, dissolved in (1 c?) water
garlic powder to taste
1/2 onion, chopped
vegetables! chopped
salt and pepper

1. Cook the pasta, then drain.
2. Blanch or steam shelled favas.  Remove their second skins.
3. Puree the now-doubly-naked favas with miso broth and garlic powder.  Adjust these things to taste and texture.
4. Heat oil in a large frying pan.  Saute onion and veggies until al dente.  Add the sauce and the pasta and mix well.  Add salt, pepper, or miso paste to taste, and serve hot.  Serves about 3.


Meanwhile, Clare used some more of our farmers market spoils to craft some ridiculously good mojitos--or since they were made with gin, "Major Baileys."  The recipe: mint, sugar, and lemon juice, pureed, then gin and club soda added, and for some, pureed fresh strawberries. 


Finally, a blast from, er, a while ago: I realized that dukkah makes a pretty awesome friend to pasta.  I mixed it with olive oil, garlic powder, and lemon juice, and tossed some pasta in it.

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