This Week’s Tips:
*Everything can go directly into the fridge…always a good idea to give your lettuce a quick hydrating rinse and wrap in dishtowel before placing in the crisper.
*SPEARMINT in SPRING! from BD’s Ojai-based farm. —-> chop and add to salads, serve on crackers or pita with feta cheese (feta & mint, a classic combo!) make hot tea, make iced tea, add to lemonade. Make a big strawberry-mint water load and keep in fridge, or craft your julips or mojitos Mint was originally used as a medicinal herb to treat stomach ache and chest pains. Known in Greek mythology as the herb of hospitality, one of mint’s first known uses in Europe was as a room deodorizer. The herb was strewn across floors to cover the smell of the hard-packed soil. Stepping on the mint helped to spread its scent through the room.
*FAVA FUN! …a cult favorite in some circles, fava beans are loaded with protein, fiber, phyto-nutrients, folates and potassium. Around since ancient time, these were a major food of old Mediterranean civilizations, and also have been found in Egyptian tombs. Also known as broad beans, faba beans, field beans, bell beans, English beans, horse beans, Windsor beans, pigeon beans and tick beans. Require a bit more prep to get to that goodness.
*FAVA BEAN CENTRAL—->* Don’t know what to do with ‘em?…they can be enjoyed shelled and eaten raw, sauteed, or blended into a pesto. Favas make great additions to pastas, salads and soups. NINE FAVA BEAN RECIPES HERE.
*FAVA BEAN VIDEO TIP—–> how to prep your favas, HERE
This Week’s Recipes:
ROASTED FAVA BEANS w/ PECORINO
*no shelling required
1 lb fava beans in the shell, washed
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
Baguette, sliced ¼” thick and toasted
3 oz wedge of pecorino
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Toss fava beans with 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the hot oven. Roast 10 to 15 minutes or until the skin is blistered. Remove from the oven, allow cooling to the touch. Remove beans from the pods.
Drizzle favas with remaining olive oil and the juice of one lemon. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Shave pecorino over the top. Delicious atop butter lettuce and with a glass of Pinot Grigio. Serves 4.
*adapted from cuesa
BLISTERED FAVA BEANS
1 pound of fresh fava beans, still in their pods
large bowl of water
a few pinches of salt
optional: crushed red pepper flakes, lemon zest, and or chopped fresh herbs.
In a large bowl of salted water, soak the fava beans (in shell) for 60 min. Strain.
Toss the fava bean pods with olive oil and salt. Arrange them in a single layer on a grill over medium-high heat. If you’re using a grill pan, you may need to cook them in batches. If I’m using an outdoor grill I don’t bother covering the favas, but when I use a grill pan, I typically cover the pan with a flat baking sheet to keep more of the heat in the pan and circulating. Grill until black and blistered on one side – 4 to 5 minutes, then flip and grill for a few minutes more on the other side.
If you aren’t sure when to pull them off, take a pod off the grill, open and taste one of the beans. You want the favabeans to be smooth and creamy when you pop them out of their skins – not undercooked. But keep in mind that they’ll keep steaming in their pods for a few minutes after they come off the grill, unless you eat them as soon as you can handle the pods without singing your fingers – which is what I encourage you to do Season the grilled favas with a bit more salt (if needed) and any herbs or lemon zest if you like.
To eat: tear open the puffy green pods, take a fava bean, pinch the skin and slide the bright green fava from its slipper. Eat them one at a time.
*adapted from 101cookbooks
FAVA BEAN CROSTINI
fresh fava beans, shelled
1 garlic clove, smashed
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2-inch-thick slices of Italian bread
Lemon wedges, for serving
Preheat the broiler. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the beans and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the beans and transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain, then peel and discard the tough outer skins.
In a food processor, puree the beans with the garlic, thyme, lemon juice and lemon zest. With the machine on, add 1/2 cup of the olive oil in a thin stream and process until smooth. Scrape the fava bean puree into a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Brush the bread slices on both sides with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil.
Arrange the slices on a baking sheet and broil about 4 inches from the heat for 1 minute per side, or until golden and crisp.
Spread the toasts with the fava bean puree and arrange the crostini on a platter. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and serve with lemon wedges.
*adapted from gourmet
FAVA BEANS, ROMAN STYLE
Pancetta, one half-inch thick slice
3 pounds unshelled young fresh fava beans
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup water
Black pepper, freshly ground
1. Cut the pancetta into ¼-inch wide ribbons.
2. Shell the beans and wash in cold water.
3. Cook the onion in the oil until it becomes translucent, then add the pancetta strips and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. Stir in beans and pepper. Add water and simmer, covered, on low heat for 8 to 10 minutes if the beans are young and tender, or up to 15 minutes if the beans are larger and tougher. Add extra tablespoons of water if necessary. When the beans are tender, add salt, and cook for a few more minutes uncovered until the last of the water has evaporated.
*adapted from EssentialsofClassicItalianCooking
CUCUMBER & MINT SALAD
• 2 cucumbers
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 2-1/2 teaspoons sugar (or honey!)
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise, then cut into thin slices. Toss the cucumbers with the salt in a colander. Let drain, then lay a clean dish towel flat on the counter, and then dump the cucumbers over top. Use the edges of the towel to blot the cucumbers dry.
In a medium bowl, combine the cucumbers, white wine vinegar, olive oil, sugar, pepper and mint. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Cover and let stand in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. Serve cold.
EZ PAN ROASTED BROCCOLI
- 1.5 lbs broccoli
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 Tbs. water
- Trim and peel the broccoli stems. Cut the florets into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces, and cut the stems on the bias 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick
In a 10-inch (25-cm) French skillet or fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until just golden and fragrant, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to a small bowl.
Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the broccoli and red pepper flakes, and season with salt and black pepper. Pour in the water. Cover and steam for about 3 minutes. Uncover, stir and continue to cook until the broccoli is lightly browned and crisp-tender and the water has evaporated, 1 to 2 minute more. Scatter the garlic on top and serve immediately. Serves 4.
*adapted from 101cookbooks