fava beans

fava bean tempura

by Heguiberto on May 14, 2012

Since we were in rush to move to the new garden plot we weren’t able to wait for the fava beans that we planted back in November (in the old plot) to be completely ready. It takes a while for the pods to appear and then grow to a useful size. So we harvested what we could, mainly the pods growing at the bottom of plants. We were able to get a fair amount. Steven gave away some to his co-worker Ernestina. She’s my Facebook friend, so I know she sautéed them in butter, salt and garlic. Because the favas were super young you don’t need to remove the inner membrane that covers the flesh of the bean. I made some of ours exactly the same way except that I used olive oil instead of butter, added a bit of chili flakes and some cherry tomatoes for additional color. It made a great side dish.

fava bean tempura

fava bean tempura

I used the rest for this incredible fava bean tempura. I got the idea from this restaurant in town that, unfortunately, has closed now. I left the beans in the pods but since they’re very young you can treat them just like green beans. And just like them, when cooked, they’re very tender. The texture is a bit different. Fava bean pods have a white velvety layer inside that acts as a cushion for the actual bean: nature’s way of protecting the development of life? That spongy layer makes eating this tempura especially fun as when you bite into it, it almost feels like it will pop in your mouth.

Enjoy this as a side dish or snack. It matches very well with a cold beer or a crisp un-oaked white wine.

fava bean tempura

about 20 fava bean pods
1 cup plain four
2 tbsp rice flour
Kosher salt
Black pepper
1 tbsp mirin
Water
Canola oil for frying

Remove the tips and the stringy part of the pods.

Whisk together flours, salt, black pepper, mirin and enough water for the consistency of a runny pancake batter.

Add canola oil to the pan and heat to medium high. Dip individual bean pods in batter and drop them carefully in hot oil. Fry for a couple of minutes on each side. Transfer to a platter lined with paper towels. Repeat with remainder. Sprinkle some extra salt over pods as they come out of the pan. Fried food is naughty good, don’t you think? Eat responsibly :)

{ 5 comments }

quinoa, fresh fava bean and avocado salad

quinoa, fresh fava bean and avocado salad

I’ve adapted this light and protein-rich salad from Plenty by Yotam Ottelenghi. It is flavorful and perfect for a barbeque party. You will enchant all your guests with this one, whether they’re vegan, vegetarian, or more omnivorous. The dish combines ingredients from both new and old worlds to become a beautiful international delight, just the way we like it ;)

quinoa, fresh fava bean and avocado salad

½ cup red quinoa
½ cup white quinoa
2 ripe Hass avocados
1½ cups fresh fava beans, from about 2 lbs fava pods
8 fresh multicolor oblong French radishes, quartered
1 cup frisée escarole, cleaned, cut into bite size pieces
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 garlic clove crushed
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Aleppo pepper chili flakes
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Add both red and white quinoa to a sauce pan, top with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce temperature to medium and cook until soft and little seeds have partially burst. Drain, rinse and let cool down to room temperature in a strainer.

Using a sharp paring knife cut a tiny strip off the stringy part of the fava pod lengthways, pop beans out of their velvety pod. Repeat process for remaining pods. Add beans to a pot with boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes. Drain, shock beans with cold water, let them cool down. Remove outer membrane from around each bean, being careful not to crush them.

Cut avocados in halves, remove large seeds. Slice into wedges, transfer to bowl and sprinkle with some lemon juice to prevent oxidation. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix garlic, salt, peppers, remainder of the lemon juice, cumin and olive oil.

Transfer quinoa, fava, radish and frisée to a serving dish, pour dressing over everything and toss to combine. Adjust flavors if necessary. Gently fold in avocado wedges.  Garnish with some crisp lettuce leaves.

{ 5 comments }

This delectable dish comes from the sublime Najmieh Batmanglij’s book, Food of Life. I made it with some success for a recent dinner party on a day when I felt little inspiration. Najmieh always cheers my mind and appetite.

basmati rice with dried yellow fava beans

basmati rice with dried yellow fava beans

Her recipe calls for dried peeled yellow fava beans, which I happened to have. Hegui picked them up at Mi Pueblo long before I’d considered this dish. She uses a special Persian spice mix for rice called advieh. The recipe can be found towards the end of the book, so I prepared my own. Made from cardamom, cumin, rose petal and cinnamon, it was quite aromatic. Since Hegui isn’t too into cinnamon, I reduced the total amount in my advieh and left out the additional ½ teaspoon that’s recommended for the yellow rice.

You’re supposed to use a non-stick pot and allow the rice on the bottom to burn and caramelize a bit. When you plate, you carefully remove the rice, which is served in a large platter in a cone shape with the garnish. Then you remove the burned crust and offer it on the side. I don’t have that kind of pan so omitted the extended cooking at low temperature and stirred my rice to try to prevent sticking. Too bad. The crust sounds quite interesting.

My only real objection to the recipe, since it was fabulous, is that she writes it “makes 6 servings.” This is absurd. I could have fed an army with the amount of finished rice. So be warned.

basmati rice with dried yellow fava beans

3 cups basmati rice, rinsed thoroughly
2 to 3 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp turmeric
2cups dried yellow hulled favas
1 tbsp or more salt
black pepper to taste
1 tsp advieh or Persian spice mix
½ cup olive oil
raisins and fried eggs for garnish

Soak beans in water for at least two hours or more.

In a deep pot, brown onions in vegetable oil, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add turmeric, soaked rinsed beans and warm water to cover (she says 7 cups). Bring to boil then simmer for about thirty minutes to cook beans. Add salt, black pepper and rinsed rice. Simmer for another 20 minutes to cook rice. Sprinkle advieh onto cooked rice then pour olive oil over it. Cover and let rest off the heat for about ten minutes.

Plate rice on a large platter forming a cone shape. Decorate with raisins and fried eggs.


{ 10 comments }

I’ve always been curious about baking with puff pastry yet this is my first time: a puff pastry virgin no more!

Last week I saw a beautiful recipe on the cool blog, gourmet food, for asparagus tart with caprino de cabra that convinced me that is was about time for me to give it a try. The recipe uses lots of dairy. Aside from the filling, the puff pastry is loaded with butter. I was saving up, having eaten mostly vegan that week, so I splurged a bit with this one.

asparagus, fava and edamame tart

asparagus, fava and edamame tart

our weekend redwood forest retreat

our weekend redwood forest retreat

This was for a picnic lunch on our recent wine-tasting weekend trip to beautiful Sonoma County. We planned it around the spring wine pick-up at Williams Selyem. People are so excited about that winery. Several of our friends wanted to go with us but most of them bagged it when they learned that the event coincided with Mother’s Day. Chris was free, which was perfect. And we were extra lucky this time: our friends Devin and Jocelyn invited us to stay in their new cabin in the woods in Guerneville. (Unfortunately they couldn’t come themselves: a wedding in Southern California.) The cabin is nestled among so many stunning and remarkably tall redwood trees. The trees surrounding the house were enormous! I always feel like I’m inside a cathedral when I am among redwoods. Awesome.

asparagus, fava and edamame tart

¾ lb asparagus
½ cup fava beans, shelled, blanched and popped out of their inner shells
½ cup milk
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp flour
1 container frozen puffy pastry (14oz or ~400grams)
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
4tbsp sweet onions, chopped fine
3 tbsp parsley
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
4-5 tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt
Crushed red pepper
Freshly ground black pepper
Chives for decoration

some key ingredients for asparagus, fava and edamame

some key ingredients for asparagus, fava and edamame

fresh asparagus and fava beans

fresh asparagus and fava beans

preparing the vegetables

preparing the vegetables

Defrost puffy pastry in the fridge for 20-24h. Bring to room temperature 3 hours before use.

Peel asparagus outer skin and discard then cut tips off and reserve for decorating the top of the pie. Using potato peeler, shave all spears thinly.

Using a saucepan, combine shaved asparagus, onion, olive oil, water and milk. Bring it close to a boil and cook for a couple minutes. Add edamame and fava. Continue cooking for another minute or so. Juices should be absorbed by the vegetables. Mine didn’t completely, so to thicken it, I dissolved a tablespoon of flour in 1 or 2 tablespoon of cold water and poured it over vegetables. Mix to incorporate. Remove from heat.

Add salt, peppers, cheese, parsley and egg yolks. Immediately mix to combine then let cool for about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375F

Stretch puffy pastry in a rectangular Pyrex type glass baking dish leaving some dough along the edges. Pour vegetable mix over pastry. Attractively arrange asparagus tips on top. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes. Edges will turn into a golden color and become a bit flaky. Remove from oven. Let cool down completely.

Now get a good bottle of wine, some country bread and enjoy the spring.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

{ 7 comments }