Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fava Beans Sautee

Fava Beans are a success. See my posting below:

It is so satisfying to be able to create a meal or side dish with fresh ingredients that you have grown yourself. With the exception of the tomatoes, which are not yet ripe and the olive oil which I conveniently buy at Costo and didn't press myself or the Asiago Romano Cheese from Costco (the best I have ever found), the ingredients come from my own garden.

/pats self on the back


  • 3 cups of prepared fava beans (I tell you how below)
  • 1 whole large french shallot, chopped (not minced)
  • 3 coarsely chopped roma tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced tarragon
  • 2 cloves minced elephant garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • shaved slivers of Asiago/Romano cheese

To prepare the beans: Plan on this taking some time. First pour yourself a glass of wine to sip on while shelling the bean pods. A nice Chianti? Or in my case a chilled Gew├╝rztraminer. Split the bean pods apart and place the beans in a large bowl. This is actually kind of neat. The insides of the bean pods are fuzzy and white, almost like the beans have been lovingly encased in soft cotton.

Meanwhile start a pot of water, liberally salted with Kosher salt to boil. Once you have shell the beans put them into the boiling water and simmer at a low boil for about 4 to 5 minutes. Scoop the beans out of the boiling water and dump them into a large bowl full of ice water. This will shock the beans and stop the cooking. Let the beans cool.

Fava beans have a very tough skin covering the delicate green bean inside. To shell them, just pinch off a section of the tough sking and gently squeeze the inside bean into a bowl. They should just slip right out. If you moosh a bean or two. No them while you are shelling the rest.

At this point, you can freeze the beans like Lima Beans are done in the grocery store or set aside covered in plastic wrap for maybe a day in the fridge. But the best way is to cook them immediately.

Preparing the dish: This part goes really fast. Coat a small sautee pan with a tbsp or so of olive oil and over medium low heat slowly cook the shallots and garlic until it is soft and slightly caramelized. Turn the heat up a bit and toss in the beans and tarragon. Toss them around in the pan. Maybe do a few Emeril Lagasse flips of the pan and contents to show off. Season with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Throw in the chopped tomatoes and stir/flip the contents of the pan over medium heat until the tomatoes start to wilt.

Serve with some shaved slivers of cheese on top of the warm beans.

Very pretty with the red and green coloring. Tasty. I served these as a side dish to some sauteed Red Snapper with a fresh green salad and warm french bread.

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