Wednesday, June 30, 2010

CSA week 4: Fava beans

It's Wednesday, and that means it's time to clear out the produce drawer before the next CSA share arrives. Fava beans, garlic scapes, spring onions, chard...

Preparing the fava beans was an interesting process. I was fascinated by the fuzzy white inner lining of the pods: nature's perfect packing material, and it's compostable!

I may have boiled the beans a little too long; removing the outer husk squished some of the beans and split others in half. The beans had a bright, fresh flavor that was sweet like garden peas, only stronger. (Later, I learned that fava beans actually belong to the pea family.)

My smallish bunch of young chard looked a little wobegone and wilted, but I went ahead and sliced it, separating the leaves and stems. I chopped up garlic scapes and sauteed them in olive oil with the chard stems, then added the chard leaves, onions, and a couple of shakes of crushed red pepper.

The chard smelled great. The greens cooked down quite a bit, but adding the beans made a fairly substantial plate, with an ear of corn on the side. Next time, I'd skip the onion; I preferred the flavor of the garlic with the chard.

Fava beans -- also called broad beans, windsor beans, horse beans and pigeon beans -- are a good source of fiber, protein (1 cup = 12g), and folate.

While learning about fava beans, I stumbled upon Chef In You, a blog filled with vegetarian recipes and lovely pictures of fava beans in all the stages of shelling and cooking.

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