Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Live and (hopefully) learn

I took a walk for another trip to Sue's Produce, and I got all kinds of things I'm sure you'll be seeing in the coming days. One of my purchases about which I was excited was a plastic container full of "shelled" fava beans. Great! I'd never cooked them, and I'm pretty sure I've never eaten them. But they're another spring treat, and another darling of my food bloggers. We do love our seasonal veggies. I found a recipe on NPR's website for a salad using these green jewels [Recipe]. I made some changes, which I will outline below, but there was one change I'm pretty sure was not a good move. See, I know that there are two steps to shelling fava beans. First, you take them out of their fuzzy pod. Then, you pop them out of their individual waxy shells. But, I bought them shelled! So, I just blanched them and tossed them as a salad. They tasted okay--a bit chewy, but you know, seasonal!
As Matt dug in, he said, "Hmm, you said the shell is waxy?"
"Because, this is waxy, and then there's this bean-y thing inside."

I thought this was a great picture of how it should look!

Yep, we chomped on a few of those waxy shells. They weren't shelled, just removed from the pods. I've got a few lessons left, clearly. Nonetheless, I can recommend this salad recipe with fully prepared fava beans, which did eventually reveal a great texture and nice, mild taste.

Fava Bean and Feta Salad

2 cups fava beans, removed from pod but still in waxy shell.

2-3 oz. Feta cheese, crumbled

1 T lemon juice

4 t olive oil

1/8 tsp. Red pepper flakes

2 T parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Blanch fava beans—boil about three minutes and rinse with cold water. Then, you can pop them out of those darn waxy shells.

Combine the shelled beans with the rest of ingredients.

Hopefully, yours won't require more work at the table.

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