May 24, 2008

The Fava Bean Torture

Fearless Leader's philosophy is that success is determined not by lack of failure, but how well you recover from failure. I had ample opportunity to consider this today while dispatching fava beans that came in our veggie box.

Fava beans are a colossal pain in the patoot. First you shell them.

Then you boil them, in order to loosen the skins.

Then you take off the skins and do something else with the rest of the bean, at which point fava beans are edible. I couldn't find the field notes that divulged that last step, so I looked at my cookbooks for guidance.

They weren't much help. Field of Greens recipes take the Julia Child approach, in which some kind person off camera has already prepared the beans. My vintage Joy of Cooking reveals that fava beans must have been unknown to American cooks in 1965. I decided to wing it.

While slipping them out of their skins, 10 went airborne, most gave up without a fight and some disintegrated on contact. They weren't going to be pretty, so I decided to make a minted fava puree. Tasted delicious but my brew was too liquid so I poured it back into the pan to reduce a bit.

I had the heat on low, but my puree became a browned omelet in its pan as I simultaneously also carmelized onions, sauteeed greens, cooked beets and made dip.

It's brown but it's still very tasty (nutty, minty, like snacks from the Indian grocery).
I'm setting my project aside and will serve it with eggs tomorrow morning.

Oh, and I found the field notes. These are the last favas of the season.

Shoot :)

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